The Small Boat of Great Sorrows: A Novel
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The Small Boat of Great Sorrows: A Novel (Vlado Petric #2)

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Vlado Petric, a former homicide detective in Sarajevo, is now living in exile, and making a meagre living working at a Berlin construction site, when an American investigator for the International War Crimes Tribunal recruits him to return home on a mission. The assignment sounds simple enough. He is to help capture an aging Nazi collaborator who has become a war profiteer...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2003)
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Danielle
I bought this book at a reduced prize some weeks ago just to find out it is a sequel. Luckily it turned out to be a stand-alone story. You don’t need to read the first book ‘Lie in the dark’ in order to understand more about Vlado Petric’s past.

When the reader meets Vlado, a former Bosnian homicide detective in ‘Small boat of great sorrows’ in Berlin, we learn his is in exile and now working at construction site. Luckily for us, he is approached and recruited by Calvin Pine, an American investi...more
Speesh
This was a really excellent book, that might start off slowly and studied and have you wondering where all this is going, but really gets underway in the second two-thirds and makes up for all the ‘what’s this all about then?’ of the first part. It then delivers an exciting, thought-provoking final climax.

Anyway…

It is about one Vlado Petric, a Bosnian ex-Policeman, who escaped from the troubles and is now working on a building site in Berlin. He is found, tracked down and recruited by some Ameri...more
Jay Fromkin
Dan Fesperman's The Small Boat of Great Sorrows intertwines the horrors of World War II and the Bosnian war in this suspenseful novel of treachery in wartime and its aftermath.

Vlado Petric is an expatriate Bosnian cop, working on an excavation project in Berlin to support his wife and child. Out of nowhere, Petric is approached by an American investigator for the War Crimes Tribunal with a short-term job and a long-term opportunity: help us arrest a Serb war criminal from World War II, which wil...more
Ernest
Vlado Petric, a former detective in Sarajevo, is drawn back into that world via International War Crimes Tribunal investigator Calvin Pine. This is complex not only on a personal emotional level, but as the murky world of politics threatens to interfere, his personal life and history becomes involved and not everyone is telling others the full truth.

This is an intelligent novel, with the author’s knowledge of the area and time clearly evident. It is a deep novel at times, yet unfortunately somet...more
Dianne
An interesting and topical plot.

Vlado Petric, an ex-detective Bosnian refugee from Sarajevo working on a building site in Germany, is approached to help the War-Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. The hunt is on for the Serbian General Andric indicted for the massacres at Srebrenica. But in order to be even handed, it is decided to prosecute a notorious Ustashe guard from the second world war killing camp in Yugoslavia, Jasenovac.

So the two stories intertwine, one from the present the other from WWII,...more
Elizabeth Wood
Former detective Vlado Petric left his beloved Balkan home to join his wife and daughterin Germany, but when asked to return to Croatia to help the War Crimes.
Good story set round events of which my knowledge is somewhat hazy. Well worth reading.
Jennie
I like Vlado Petric and was glad to have a chance to check in with him. The story was interesting: he's called in on a war crimes tribunal investigation to help bring in criminals from both WWII and the recently-ended war in Bosnia.

A twist in the story gives Vlado his incentive, but I felt that the resolution to that twist was a bit of a cop-out on Fesperman's part and it would have been more interesting for him to explore the true ramifications of that twist. Otherwise, I enjoyed it and like I...more
Linda
I'm planning to read everything that Fesperman has written. He is a wonderful writer. This story follows the life of Vlado Petric,a Bosnian policeman who had to flee Sarajevo in the book Lie in the Dark. This story finds Vlado now working in Berlin at construction sites. An American from the Hague War Crimes Tribunal looks him up and offers him a job tracking down an picking up a Bosnian war criminal hiding out in a small Bosnian village. The story of the Balkans is fascinating and Fesperman is...more
Valissa
"[An Englishman's worse,] he reads a few books and thinks he has it worked out, but at least he usually has the good grace to keep it to himself."

"He inhaled deeply, smelling turned earth, the resinous bite of the pines. At times like these the general found it easy to imagine the hills were enchanted, a place where mere farmers and peasants slipped their skins by night to become ogres and knights, gliding into the trees to joust and thrust in secret, writing new chapters in the lore of the forb...more
Jim
Gathering dust on my bookshelf for about three years, I finally turned to this novel wondering if it would match Le Carre, as the blurbs seemed to infer. And it was good, but more in the style of a Robert Harris or a Robert Wilson, leaving me wondering what it was about Le Carre that raised his novel above the ordinary? I couldn't tell you, I just know it when I see it.
Mady
Hm, no reviews in goodreads on this one...

Planned to read this one in preparation for an upcoming trip. However, had to return it to the library without having finished it (but had already given up on this).
It wasn't very bad, it was just not interesting enough in a period where too much is going on and it's hard for me to focus on a book...
Jen
I really enjoy this author - and now having read 3 of his books, they all make you want to learn more about the historical aspect of each book. This book in particular deals with post Balkan genocide and events in WWII. As a former war correspondent (in Berlin during the former Yugoslavia war), you are aware he is writing from his experience.

Celia Pastoriza
This book definitely provided me with insight into life in the Balkans, and I enjoyed reading it very much. There were flaws however: a prologue that ends up having nothing to do with the plot, a point of view that only shows up once and then disappears, and a plot that loses some believability the farther afield it goes.
Lila
I started reading this on my trip to Sarajevo. I had read his earlier book set during the war. This is especially interesting to me now as I can imagine the settings. There is an unusual twist to the plot in that the war crimes being investigated were WWII crimes, not crimes from the more recent conflict.
Beth
I enjoyed the first book in this series more than this one. Set in mainly Bosnia and Italy a Bosnian detective is trying to track down a WWII war criminial. Too many coincidences happened to help solve the mystery to be believable. The conversation also seemed awkard at times.
Al
An excellent tale of intrigue which links the pursuit of WWII war criminals with the pursuit of the same from the more recent Bosnian conflict. The author does a nice job of weaving together the plots and sub-plots into a very interesting story.
Joe
Good follow up to Lie in the Dark, with Det Petric returning whilst living in Berlin, I felt this was much more fast paced than 1st book. Will be interesting to see if author writes any more books with Det Petric.
Sarah
Not my favorite mystery of all time, but I liked the settings (Bosnia, Germany, Italy). Also marks second book in a row that I've read with significant action in an Italian lemon grove.
Eric Stone
Sort of the follow up to Lie in the Dark. Truly wonderful book, though if I had to go to a desert island with just one of them, it would probably be Lie in the Dark.
Kaylol
The war references, details and the like made it too heavy to enjoy, at least for me.
Christopher Culp
Good but not his best. It was slow in parts, but nevertheless an overall good read.
Marian
Good thriller with very slow start, that keeps you turning pages afterwards...
Caty Clifton
Not much, interesting story but gave up on the writing . Did not finish
Elephant Bookstore
meh....not terrible, but the point of these books is lost on me.
Teresa Thompson
Serbia, Croatia, Yugos, Germany - very interesting story.
Carrie
Sequel to Lie in the Dark - great to revist the characters.
Tom Wiebe
Oct 06, 2013 Tom Wiebe marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

Source: LA Public Library.
Ellen
Really excellent international mystery
Mary G.
A very good spy novel thriller.
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38235
Dan Fesperman’s travels as a writer have taken him to thirty countries and three war zones. Lie in the Dark won the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain’s John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first crime novel, The Small Boat of Great Sorrows won their Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller, and The Prisoner of Guantánamo won the Dashiell Hammett Award from the International Asso...more
More about Dan Fesperman...
The Double Game The Arms Maker of Berlin Layover in Dubai Lie In The Dark The Prisoner of Guantanamo

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