WE TRADE OUR NIGHT FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S DAY
Naklada Ljevak, Balkan Noir edition, February 2016, 216 pages
Ivana Bodrožić, a bestselling and award-winning poet and novelist, through the genre of political thriller, boldly engages to unmask a transitional society, deeply saturated with crime and corruption.
This intelligent, dramatic, powerful, tragic, menacing and dark, but above all brave novel, opens up with a prison scene. A journalist Nora Kirin arrives in an unnamed Croatian town chasing a story of a local high school teacher who, along with her underage lover, murdered her husband. An intriguing, agonizing and dark story about a family tragedy and a scorned woman leads into a series of parallel narratives that are entangled with the underground of this deeply divided city. One of the major narrative lines leads Nora on the path of her father’s murderer, who got killed around twenty years before, at the eve of the war, trying to mediate between enemy sides and warning them that the conflict might be intentionally provoked.
The plot takes place when bilingual boards were being placed on public institutions in a town that profits the most from the traffic of human victims. The controllers of all processes are the same people who participated in war crimes in the 90’s, corrupt politicians, surviving mobsters, warlords who, almost twenty years later, converted into being members of the local political and social elite.
This atmospheric novel, that tells the story of a nameless town is infused by lyrical parts and filled to the brim with diverse characters to whom the author skillfully brings both life and cogency, which takes her impressive prose to a level of a universal study of human nature.
We Trade Our Night for Someone Else’s Day was awarded Balkan Noir prize for best crime novel in the South-Eastern European region written in 2016.