The Confession Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Confession

St. Martin's, Mar 2004, 24.95, 304 pp.
ISBN: 0312303289

Now turning thirty, seven years has passed since an idealistic Emil Brod joined the police force as a Comrade Homicide Detective, but now by 1956 he is like his peers, grim and ever looking over his shoulders at the KGB representative. Emil has learned survival means trust no one and gingerly investigate whenever the Party is involved.
Click here to see the rest of this review...

Meanwhile Police Officer Ferenc Kolyeszar prefers to be a novelist, but in this small Communist nation getting anything published is controlled by the Party. Though Ferenc has talent his résumé shows one paperback. Now he writes a book about the depressing world of artists representing Everyman behind the Iron Curtain. Any creativity typically leads to work camps that even in the post Stalin era remains dehumanizing and deadly. Besides the censorship that haunts Ferenc, he suffers remorse over a recent assignment involving college students. As he investigates the murder of a party bureaucrat, KGB agent Kaminski watches Ferenc looking forward to destroying the wannabe author.

This 1950s Communist police procedural is a terrific tale that provides the audience with insight into life inside a Soviet satellite country just after the death of Stalin. The strong story line surprisingly relegates the hero of the first novel (BRIDGE OF SIGHS) to a cynical secondary role. This allows comparison to Ferenc, a tragic Shakespearean character who knows that his latest case will personally cost him dearly; yet he cannot adapt to the party line especially after he carried out a recent assignment to bash the heads of protesting college students. This is a great Eastern European Communist historical police procedural that should provide Owen Steinhauer a strong fan base.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Confession

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   Russian


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Eastern Europe

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Confession

Olen Steinhauer Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian