The Camel Driver (Hardcover)
New Hard-Boiled Detective Series Uncovers Bones, Bodies and Murder
"A fiercely intelligent crime drama as emotionally sharp as it is historically inventive. Krishtalka's prose is powerfully versatile, alternating between the sort of terse, unsentimental phrasing that one would expect from a detective story and poetical elegance."
Paleontologist turned private investigator, Harry Przewalski, excavates the dirty underbelly of people's lives, unearthing sexual betrayals, treachery, fraud and murder buried beneath the science of petrified shards, skin and bones. Ultimately, he must face a brutal killing in his own past, when he fled to a desert war and came back with a gun and a license to detect.
A famous, 140-year-old museum diorama is vandalized--it depicts the ferocious attack by two lions on a North African courier crossing the Sahara on a dromedary. The belly of the taxidermied camel has been sliced open and a bundle removed, shedding bits of flesh from a child. Harry is hired to investigate the macabre history of the exhibit. The taxidermist has a grisly past: a sexual affair, a lover's betrayal, a lurid trial, and graves in Botswana and Tunisia plundered for human dioramas. The camel driver's skull and skin are mounted under his clothing. In a Paris museum, a dead archaeologist, a bloodstained journal, and the theft of a Neanderthal child's skull and teeth lead Harry to the stolen bundle--a scientific bombshell worth killing for in a murderous race for fame.