The Monkey House by John Fullerton

The book is centered on Sarajevo during the Bosnian conflict and it follows Police superintendent Rosso, a Croat and Sarajevo’s “top cop”. The book starts with Rosso returning home to Sarajevo from Zagreb to learn of a recent murder which his ill-equipped, understaffed detectives haven’t even bothered to investigate. The murder victim is a dentist and occasional police informant who is found dead in her bath. Rosso’s number one suspect is Luka who is the city’s biggest wheeler dealer and gangster but Rosso no longer has the authority he once had in the battle stricken city and therefore can’t act on his suspicions either due to corruption or a dwindling workforce. Rosso though has to do something due to his moral code and a sense of penance for crimes his family has committed in the past. With help from an American journalist who works for Reuters, Rosso must try and help the city he calls his home.

When i read the book i was constanlty wondering what occupation John Fullerton had – Soldier, journalist, doctor or maybe just a civilian but it definitely had to of been someone who was actually there during the conflict. I later found out after reading the book that he was a Journalist who in his career was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and volunteered to work undercover for two years against the Soviets in Afghanistan. No mean feat at all if i don’t say so myself.

I really enjoyed the book i have to say. It was very entertaining although the background subject of the Bosnian war is not one you would call entertaining. He expertly describes life in a warzone using the lawlessness of the city as a great backdrop for great book.

7.5/10

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