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4.875 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.88 (16 Votes)

At a first glance „The Investigation” is an old-fashioned, British novel.  The more we get to know the mystery, the more remote its solution seems.  At the same time the world within the novel – from a good old set of a conventional „crime” - turns to a modern vision of overcrowded world of chaos, the labyrinths of which need to be searched for new guides - not necessarily trustworthy ones.



The Polish science fiction writer has taken the format of the procedural police mystery and turned it into a metaphysical puzzler of considerable power.  Dead bodies are inexplicably moving and disappearing.  Has a crime been committed or are stranger forces at work?  The young Scotland Yard officer in charge of the case struggles to find a resolution that will preserve his determinedly prosaic view of the world.  Reality, however, proves less mundane and certainly less comprehensible than he had hoped.  A compelling and disturbing book, closer to Kafka than the police precinct house.

The Kirkus Reviews
I am  not entirely happy with The Investigation although it is quite well written and keeps the reader in suspense. The ending, a departure from the literary genre, addresses certain philosophical issues by showing possible explanations and courses of events. The Chain of Chance (Katar) seems in this respect a better work because it is more credible. Even in the categories of "naturalism" and "naive credibility" this second novel seems "better made". My attachment to this idea results from the fact that I was always interested in the role played by pure chance, coincidence and fate.

Rattling rhythmically at each floor, the old-fashioned elevator moved upward past glass doors decorated with etchings of flowers. It stopped. (...) The doors swung open.

  "This way, gentlemen," gestured someone standing just inside.

  Gregory was the last one in, right behind the doctor. Compared to the brightly lit corridor, the room was almost dark. Through the window the bare branches of a tree were visible in the fog outside. (...)

"Gentlemen," the Chief Inspector said (...) "I want you to go over every aspect of this case. Since the official record has been my only source of information, I think we should start with a brief summary. Farquart, perhaps you can begin."