Blog tour: Silver Pebbles

Welcome to the blog tour for Silver Pebbles by Hansjörg Schneider, translated from the German by Mike Mitchell!

More about the book…

A Lebanese man carrying diamonds in his bag is on the train from Frankfurt to Basel, a drug mule on the return journey. At the Basel train station Inspector Hunkeler is waiting for him after a tipoff from the German police. The courier manages to flush the stones away in the station WC. Erdogan, a young Turkish sewage worker, finds the diamonds in the pipes under the station. To him they mean wealth and the small hotel he always wanted to buy near his hometown. To his older Swiss girl-friend Erika, the stones signify the end of their life together. She knows that Erdogan has a wife and children in Turkey. For the courier, finding the stones is a matter of life and death. His employers are on their way to “tidy things up”. For Hunkeler the stones are the only way to get to the people behind the drug trade. They turn out to include not only the bottom feeding drug gangs, but bankers and politicians very high up the Basel food chain.

More about the author…

Hansjörg Schneider, born in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1938, worked as a teacher, and journalist. He is one of themost performed playwrights in the German language but is best known for his Inspector Hunkeler crime novels. Schneider has received numerous awards, among them the prestigious Friedrich Glauser Prize for The Basel Killings. He lives and writes in Basel.

More about the translator…

Mike Mitchell lives in Scotland and has published over eighty translations from German and French, including all the Friedrich Glauser Sergeant Studer novels and Gustav Meyrink's five novels. His translation of Rosendorfer's ‘Letters Back to Ancient China’ won the 1998 Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize.

My impressions…

Was it a page-turner? I stayed up late to finish this book despite knowing that I would be waken up early by my children… so I guess the answer is yes!

Did the book meet my expectations? I hadn’t realised that this book is a prequel, and part of a 10 book series featuring the same Basel police inspector, Peter Hunkeler. This, however, didn’t detract anything from my experience as Silver Pebbles, which has been beautifully translated from the German, can be read as a stand-along book. The story is narrated in an immediate and straightforward manner, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Three words to describe it. Political. Gritty. Engaging.

Do I like the cover? Yes, it’s simple yet striking at the same time.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but I wouldn’t mind changing that!

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