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Download The Confession Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Confession Audiobook, by Olen Steinhauer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (279 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Olen Steinhauer Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781455180745
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Eastern Europe, 1956 — Comrade Inspector Ferenc Kolyeszar, a proletariat writer as well as a state militia homicide detective, is a man on the brink. Estranged from his wife, whom he believes is cheating on him with one of his colleagues, and frustrated by writer’s block, Ferenc’s attention is focused on his job. But his job is growing increasingly political, something that makes him profoundly uncomfortable.

When Ferenc is asked to look into the disappearance of a party member’s wife and learns some unsavory facts about their lives, the absurdity of his position as an employee of the state is suddenly exposed. At the same time, he and his fellow militia officers are pressed into service policing a popular demonstration in the capital, one that Ferenc might rather be participating in. These two situations, coupled with an investigation into the murder of a painter that leads them to a man recently released from the camps, brings Ferenc closer to danger than ever before—from himself, from his superiors, and from the capital’s shadowy criminal element.

The Confession is a fantastic follow-up to Olen Steinhauer’s brilliant debut, The Bridge of Sighs, and propelled this talented writer into the ranks of the premiere thriller writers of a generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “We can only marvel at the rumbling undertone of dread that Steinhauer builds around what appears to be a routine investigation of a suicide but turns out to be just the tip of a murderous political conspiracy.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Think of the savage brilliance of J. Roberts James’ mysteries about World War II France, or the suspenseful erudition of Alan Furst’s thrillers…Steinhauer’s debut is right up on those stellar heights.”

    Chicago Tribune on The Bridge of Sighs

  • “[A] first-rate thriller…Set in a beautifully realised, fictional Eastern European state in 1956. Elegant…this is a powerful, thought-provoking literary thriller in the mould of Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy. I hope it is the second in a good, long series.”

    Daily Telegraph

  • “Bigger in scope and slower-moving than The Bridge of Sighs, with deaths and deceptions snowballing grotesquely, the novel makes readers wonder just what Steinhauer will do for the next book in his series—and how far into the future it will take his team of citizen cops.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The author relates with spare irony his narrator’s psychological journey through the vexatious complexities of marriage and totalitarian life, drawn toward the deceptive clarity of brutal action. This second installment in a loosely linked series is enthusiastically recommended for fans of well-made hard-boiled and noir fiction.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 2/18/2014

    " Some of the characters from his first novel are also in this novel, but they are minor characters. Set in the 1950's in a Communist country, Hungary I think, it is full of the action of the times. Small things can set off monumental consequences. A man tries to save a woman from her overbearing, controlling, husband who got her hooked on drugs and then abused her. He arrests her and sends her back to Russia. What happens to her sets off a chain of events that end terribly for him. It is so descriptive. I feel like I know those times better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 1/30/2014

    " Steinhauer is always a good read, with more depth than many police procedurals. This is not quite his best -- the plot gets complicated, and the characters can be hard to identify with. But I guess the book reflects the bleakness of life in Eastern Europe in the decades after WWII. It's fun to see all the same characters in each of his books, with a different one tending to be the central figure each time around. Ferenc, though, is more dour and less engaging, somehow that Emil Brod in one book and Brano Sen in another. 3.5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 1/29/2014

    " A chilling story of life behind the Iron curtain in the 1950's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 1/11/2014

    " Another excellent work by Steinhauer. He does for life behind the Iron Curtin what Furst does for pre-WWII Europe - the same depth of character, the twisting plot "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KS | 12/31/2013

    " Enjoyed the book. Interesting subject matter (combining detective/human interest/political stories and doing it so well) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 12/29/2013

    " Steinhauer keeps the story moving forward through the grey, the grit, the smoke and alcohol, through the brutality and glimpses of humanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 11/26/2013

    " An interesting variant of the police procedural, political thriller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shadoh | 11/25/2013

    " difficult at times, cruel and names are confussing, very russian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kona | 11/21/2013

    " Mmmmmmm........Not sure what to say about this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Walker | 11/7/2013

    " Disappointing in that I couldn't connect with the central character at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 10/27/2013

    " The author concentrates on one of the militia (homocide detective). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 9/25/2013

    " Dark time in eastern Europe, the 50s. No one was happy and they had to do things that they would never have done in another time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 8/11/2013

    " It is fascinating to read about communism from the point of view of communists. Steinhauer's books are dark, but I can't put them down. (BTW, I am NOT reading the Kindle edition. It's just the only one they had in the list.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Travis | 6/27/2013

    " This is artsy detective fiction, well-written, but could have been more suspenseful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jemera Rone | 3/17/2012

    " I don't always like the wierd East European state this author has constructed as the background for this detective series but I seem to have read most of the series anyway, hoping for something better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Doyle | 3/13/2012

    " The second book In a series of books about a fictional Eastern European country post WWII. Each book focuses on a different character and time frame. I have read the series and really enjoyed them all. Over time it creates a multilayered story of post war Eastern Europe and a rich set of characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy Swift | 11/10/2011

    " This is Steinhauer's second book - much better! Compelling. Strong writing. What a time and place to live. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lois Gould | 8/26/2011

    " I usually love Steinhauer for what I learn about the cold war and the people and lives of Eastern Europe - but skip this one! The story wanders around in darkness of spirit and politics and takes forever to develop. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 R. | 7/23/2011

    " Lost interest -- or more correctly, no interest had been generated -- after reading 27 chapters. Makes me question the entire genre, or rather the reviewers of the genre, as it came highly recommended; meh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 5/3/2011

    " The second book in this great series explores the degrading impact of totalitarian repression on art, relationships, and civil society through a Chandler style detective novel/police procedural. A dark but powerful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 kenpen | 10/22/2010

    " Hard to read at times because it was so dark, not that it was a bad book. It's so painful to read what life was like under the Soviet regime. Kolyeszar was such a complex character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kona | 9/19/2010

    " Mmmmmmm........Not sure what to say about this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 9/11/2010

    " Steinhauer keeps the story moving forward through the grey, the grit, the smoke and alcohol, through the brutality and glimpses of humanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 6/12/2010

    " The author concentrates on one of the militia (homocide detective). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Travis | 2/3/2010

    " This is artsy detective fiction, well-written, but could have been more suspenseful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 11/24/2009

    " It is fascinating to read about communism from the point of view of communists. Steinhauer's books are dark, but I can't put them down. (BTW, I am NOT reading the Kindle edition. It's just the only one they had in the list.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 8/11/2007

    " The second book in this great series explores the degrading impact of totalitarian repression on art, relationships, and civil society through a Chandler style detective novel/police procedural. A dark but powerful book. "

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About the Author

Olen Steinhauer is a New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, whose work has won the Dashiell Hammett Award, been a two-time Edgar Award finalist, and was shortlisted for the Anthony, the Macavity, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and the Barry awards.

About the Narrator

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.