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Kismet (Kayankaya #4)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  199 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
It all began with a favor. Kayankaya and Slibulsky were only trying to protect their friend Romario from his protectors, men who were demanding hard cash for the service. It ended with two bodies on the floor of Romario's restaurant, their faces covered in ghostly white makeup. Kayankaya is determined to track down their identities, when he realizes that he himself is bein ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Oldcastle Books (first published 2001)
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Mar 09, 2009 Trilby rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what the significance of the title is. In addition to meaning "fate" in Turkish, "kismet" is also a wireless network detector, a robot designed by MIT to assist research into social interactions between robots and humans, a 1920 film, and a musical. For simplicity's sake, I'll go with the first definition. It works because the narrator is a Frankfurter PI of Turkish descent. The most interesting aspect of the story is the anti-immigrant jive and flak the "Turks" (i.e. any immigrant ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
May 17, 2016 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Private eye Kemal Kayankaya is a Turkish immigrant raised by Germans in Frankfurt, a city he is both fond of and acknowledges to be the ugliest city in Germany. One good result of the German Reunification that took place about a decade before the action of this novel is the new targets it has given local bigots for their racism. Kayankaya by no means gets a free ride from his fellow Frankfurters, but they can now complain about the Ossies, East Germans that are ruining the economy, the neighborh ...more
Nov 15, 2010 Tony rated it liked it
The Kayankaya Quartet (of which this is the final book), was originally published in Germany between 1985 and 2001, the previous installments being Happy Birthday, Turk!, More Beer (which was previously released as And Still, Drink More), and One Man, One Murder. Set mainly in Frankfurt, they use the hardboiled detective genre to examine the changes underway in German culture, especially with regard to immigrants. Although private eye Kemal Kayankaya is the German-born son of Turkish guest worke ...more
Tyler Jones
I'm a sucker for both hard boiled detective novels and international fiction, so when I came across this gritty story about a Turkish P.I. in Frankfurt, I was in like Flynn. For the most part the book delivers exactly what it promises: a tightly plotted urban noir complete with wise-ass detective and sucker-punch dialogue, plus some social commentary on being a visible minority in Germany in the years just after unification.

I really wanted to rate this one four-stars but I can't because book is
Not my favorite of the series, but still enjoyable.
Caroline Picard
Jan 27, 2011 Caroline Picard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good! I came across this book on accident, it had a very nice cover and I had been looking for something kind of pulpy. It's perfect. Another detective novel, it perfectly fulfills the requirements of its genre, and yet while fitting in with Raymond Chandler, this Kismet felt much more contemporary--taking for granted the socio-politcal landscape of our times. Everything takes place in Frankfurt and a nearby, also shitty, landscape. Kismet is a Turkish immigrant raised by Germans, and as such ...more
Apr 27, 2013 M M rated it it was amazing
Darkly witty writing doesn't get much better than by Jakob Arjouni, the German-Turkish author of Kismet. It stars the private investigator Kayankaya who wisecracks his way through a violent takeover of the streets of Frankfurt, possibly Germany's dullest city, by a bunch of Croat nationalists. There's butchery galore, mafiosi fall by the wayside. Kayankaya - an ethnic Turk - usually finds himself on the margins of German society, facing racism and occasional odd jobs from immigrants. When one, a ...more
Apr 28, 2011 Alan rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This hard-boiled mystery was set in Frankfurt soon after the fall of the wall. The detective, Kemal Kayankaya, is Turkish and the tension between Turks and Germans is palpable throughout the story. There are also East European (Albanian, Serbian, Croats) gangsters and the obligatory tough-but-gentle sidekick. The story was far-fetched, even by most "suspension of disbelief" standards, but compelling and very readable. This was the first of the authoer's four books re-published in English (origin ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it
After my previous failed attempt to read More Beer, an earlier entry into the Kayankaya series, I tried this book at the urging of a friend. This time, however, I read the book in the original German, and that seemed to make a huge difference in the tone (note to translator: Arjouni is not Raymond Chandler). Despite the slow going (on my part with a dictionary at times), I am now won over on the merits of this series about a cranky Turkish detective in Frankfurt. I will go back and revisit the e ...more
Dec 09, 2010 Joshua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
German crime novel set in Frankfurt around a Turkish private eye that hits on all the usual points--seedy, violent, detective getting the crap beat out of him as he doggedly pursues the truth. Short book, the first of Arjouni's books featuring this character to be translated into English--3 more coming in 2011--that has a solid anti-hero as the protagonist, but not super original. That's okay. Sometimes it's nice to go down a familiar, squalid path and I like reading something like this set in G ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Stacia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of PI/investigative/international crime fiction
Shelves: europe, 2015
I really enjoyed this! Kemal Kayankaya is a tough Turkish-German PI who accidentally ends up in the middle of a turf war as a Croatian organized crime group tries to take over territory of Albanian & German mobs in Frankfurt. The setting was great & I liked the international flavor of the various groups in the book. It was also darkly funny & nicely paced.
Jacob LW DelValley
May 15, 2016 Jacob LW DelValley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Again.. again. One of the most satisfying crime writers I have come across. And it keeps getting better. But knowing that there is only one left in the series and knowing that Arjouni has already passed just makes this final attempt almost a lost cause. Once it's over it's over. Ok, now on to 'Brother Kemal'.
Se la notte è insonne uno che fa? Si mette a leggere per conciliare il sonno... Ma se il libro si rivela uno spasso, come in questo caso, lo finisci e sei più sveglio di prima.. In un "giallo" riuscire a fondere azione, humor, critica sociale e buona scrittura ( echi di Lansdale ) per me è un'impresa rara: qui l'autore ci riesce agevolmente e ci consegna davvero un bel libro!
Private eye of Turkish descent in Frankfurt... intriguing enough to pick up... the first chapter is great... and then it kind of dissolves into slight implausibility... and the ending would make Quentin Tarantino giggle with glee.
Mar 25, 2016 Dennis rated it really liked it
An interesting read, my first of this author . ..I'll read another. A good view into the multi cultural society in Europe . ..and the prejudices that often prevail , and all in a mystery thriller .
Apr 02, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
fairly simple plot and development, but the narrator is quite unique and the setting quite uncommon too. i like the slightly schlubby approach to the private detective model, the minority perspective, and the stubbornness instead of grit.
Aaron Kent
Jun 01, 2016 Aaron Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
another solid reprint in the Melville House international crime library. looking forward to the rest of Arjouni's books.
Apr 14, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good, though Kayankaya does have a penchant for getting his ass whipped by the antagonists a lot. A seriously fucked up ending as you might expect. A good read
Lorenzo rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2016
Ceri Kay
Ceri Kay rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2014
Don Hackett
Don Hackett rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2015
Mehtap rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2012
Margrethe Lauber
Margrethe Lauber rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2015
Jenny rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2012
Chris rated it it was amazing
Sep 02, 2016
Sarah Zareva
Sarah Zareva rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2016
Nov 21, 2015 Nele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
E Wallace
E Wallace rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2014
Joe rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2013
Julia rated it liked it
Aug 21, 2015
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Jakob Arjouni (alias of Jakob Bothe) published his first novel Happy Birthday, Türke! (1985) at the age of 20.Later he wrote his first play Die Garagen. He became famous after publishing his criminal novel Kayankaya, which was then translated into 10 different languages.

In 1987, he received the Baden-Württembergischen Autorenpreis für das deutschsprachige Jugendtheater for his play Nazim schiebt
More about Jakob Arjouni...

Other Books in the Series

Kayankaya (5 books)
  • Happy Birthday, Türke!
  • More Beer
  • One Man, One Murder
  • Brother Kemal (Kayankaya, #5)

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