Reviews for Bone Man

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #1
Too many bones in the grinder make for a weird, wild second case for Austrian cop-turned–private eye Simon Brenner (Brenner and God, 2009). Friedrich Löschenkohl's family restaurant in Klöch is famous throughout Styria for its crispy, oversized servings of fried chicken. So, of course, it generates thousands of pounds of bones a week. But now, someone's been adding human bones to the mix, and Löschenkohl's daughter-in-law Angelika wants Brenner to find out who. The only trouble is that Angelika's gone missing by the time Brenner arrives. Nor is she the only one. East Styrian sculptor Gottfried Horvath has already vanished. They'll be followed by Goran Milovanovic, the Yugoslavian goalie of the Klöch soccer club, whose day job includes feeding the bone grinder at Löschenkohl's; Jacky Trummer, the chatty son of Löschenkohl's bathroom attendant; and a rival soccer player named Ortovic whose decapitated head turns up in a bag of soccer balls. So Brenner really might wonder whose bones those are in the grinder. Instead, however, he wonders about the weather, his ex-girlfriend, the time years ago when he cuckolded the head of the Vienna Vice Squad, and whether it's all right to eat fried chicken with his fingers. Revelations of dark doings eventually arrive but so quickly after so much studied inaction that they have a surrealistic air, and you can see why Brenner claims he was able to tie up the loose ends only due to "shock-power" after a villain with a meat cleaver severs his pinkie. Appealing as Brenner is, the most original figure here is the narrator, who hovers above the action with matter-of-fact detachment, ever alert for moments when he can swoop down and set you straight about what's going on or change the subject entirely. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 April #1

Inexplicably, the most popular restaurant in this bucolic corner of Austria is a fried chicken joint. When human bones are found in the bone-grinder pile, the restaurant's manager hires PI Simon Brenner (introduced in Brenner and God) to investigate. Now she's gone missing. The case gets stranger as folks disappear at a disturbing clip and a soccer player's head is discovered in an equipment bag. Eventually Brenner realizes a soccer bribery scandal is probably connected to the bones in the restaurant. Needless to say, he hopes to solve the case without losing any bones himself. VERDICT Brenner's exploits are highly amusing. The novel's sense of the absurd will appeal to Colin Cotterill fans.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #4

Soccer, Balkan conflict, and fried chicken are just three of the unlikely ingredients that go into Haas's darkly comic second novel to be translated into English featuring Austrian PI Simon Brenner (after 2012's Brenner and God). The Löschenkohl Grill, a popular eatery in the small town of Klöch, is shaken after human remains turn up among chicken bones in a bone grinder. Ex-cop Brenner arrives from Vienna ready to investigate, only to discover that the Grill's manager, Angelika, who hired him, has disappeared. As Brenner deals instead with the owner, Angelika's imposing father-in-law, Friedrich Löschenkohl, more people disappear, and mayhem erupts in the local soccer league. American mystery fans should enjoy Haas's quirky, digressive storytelling style, though a sprawling plotline and the translation's inevitable difficulty with conveying the original language's flavor prevent this whodunit from being the ideal introduction to the rumpled, unassuming, and unforgettable Brenner. (Apr.)

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