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The Woman from Bratislava

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Penned with a journalist's eye for detail, this authentic and suspenseful novel begins when, during a bombing raid in Yugoslavia, a seemingly invincible NATO fighter plane is shot down, and it soon becomes clear that there is a leak within the military alliance. In Bratislava, Teddy Pedersen, a middle-aged, Danish university lecturer, receives a visit from an Eastern Europ ...more
Paperback, 439 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Eurocrime (first published January 1st 2001)
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3.53  · 
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 ·  146 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Apr 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is a really, really terrible book. I seriously considered putting it down halfway through, and in hindsight, I regret not doing so. The first section from Teddy’s POV was interesting, and I found the plot intriguing enough to want to continue, but the book only went downhill.

The casual sexism and objectification of women abounds, and is injected so frequently into the narrative, and with so little reason, that it cannot be ignored. When we *finally* hear from Irma, I was enraged by how poor
Nino Frewat
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked reading that book though I don't know in which genre it fits. The cover"s tagline states that Davidsen is one of Denmark's top crime writers, but the book certainly doesn't fit into the crime/mystery genre.
The English title is The Woman from Bratislava, and so one would imagine that espionage is what the book will be about. Again, it isn't. At least, not the classical espionage books one thinks of.
Set against the backdrop of the NATO bombing on Serbia and Kosovo, thee story is told from
Alison Hardtmann
This is a Danish thriller about spies, the influence of history and family ties. Set during the early days of NATO bombing of Serbia, Leif Davidsen explores the history of Nazism in Denmark and the more recent history of the Cold War, when Denmark's location on the Baltic Sea gave it strategic importance.

Teddy is a university lecturer whose dissertation concluding that the Soviet Union would remain strong for the foreseeable future came out early enough to get him his current position, but too
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: balkan, albania
I have been passionately interested in Albania for many, many years. So, when my wife told me that part of this book by one of Denmark's leading writers of suspenseful novels is set in Albania, I could not wait to read it.

Well, the last 70 or so pages are set in an Albania, which I felt that the author had described without visiting.

The complicated story deals with the investigation of Irma, who is believed to have been a spy for the STASI or the USSR. Her half-sister is an elusive double or t
Sep 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Toute une histoire! Le livre se concentre principalement sur deux personnages: un Danois d'âge moyen s'appelant Teddy, et un détective. Le détective est en charge q'une enquête sur une femme qui aurait été espionne pour l'union sovietique. Cette femme, découvre Teddy, est sa demi-soeur, alors qu'il s'est toujuors cru orphelin de père. Maintenant, il apprend que son père n'était pas mort et avait eu une autre famille. Il apprend aussi que sa soeur (pas sa demi-soeur) vient d'être arrêtée, aussi a ...more
Feb 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: danish
Didn't like this book as much as first one I read by Davidsen but still a good and engaging read. Again a theme of ingrown Danish society engaged with and conflicting with larger conflict - Balkan wars, Yugoslavian conflict and its consequences. Interesting history of Denmark in WW II - I only knew of resistance to Nazis; had no knowledge of Danes who fought with the Germans and the history behind that. Family allegiances, secrets within families and the community, shame - all lingering ten, twe ...more
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eurocrime
I enjoyed the book, although in places it was a little repetitive and boring (Irma's first 2 chapters). Set in Denmark and the East European countries during the war in Kosova and the bombing of Serbia, it is a crime/spy thriller with roots way back in 1940's Denmark and Croatia. Unusual for a crime thriller it has multiple narrators (two 1st person, one 3rd person), so the differring attitudes to Danish collaboration during the German Occupation in the 40s comes across strongly. Very interestin ...more
Ikke bedste, men alligevel en solid krimi i bedste Davidsen-stil med en halvkikset, halv-gammel anti-helt i hovedrollen. Dennegang er det Teddy en professor der opdager at hans søster - måske - er spion og hans afdøde far var nazist.

Handlingen foregår primært i Danmark og nogle af de tidligere øst Europæiske lande, men ikke i Rusland som ellers er Davidsens yndlings"legeplads". Hvilket er ærgeligt for det er i det russiske niers at han har skrevet sine bedste historier.
Rosie Mughal
rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2012
Ken Rogerson
Nov 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting take on post-Nazi issues 50 years after WWII. Danish perspective; Nazi guilt. Very intriguing voicing with 4 sections; the first three are first person each from a different person. Enjoyable, but got a little bogged down in the mental battles each person goes through.
Ann Tonks
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it

Fascinating insight into Danish 20th Century history as well a complex range of characters and a unpredictable story line. Well worth a read.

Margo Penhall
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, reviewed
An intelligent thriller which offers us insight into some of Europe's deeper obsessions and reminds us of the horrific events in Eastern Europe in the 1990's. An absorbing read.
Casper Borly
rated it did not like it
Aug 15, 2009
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Jan Hoffmann
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Feb 15, 2018
Paul Morgan
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Dec 01, 2013
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Frode Jensen
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Lotte M.
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Martin Madsen
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Bente Neerbek
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Leif Davidsen (f. 1950) er uddannet journalist og fra 1984-1988 DRs korrespondent i Moskva. Har rejst over det meste af verden som udenrigskorrespondent. Han debuterede som forfatter i 1984 og har udgivet en rejsebog, to novellesamlinger og elleve romaner, der er oversat til femten sprog. Leif Davidsen er en af Danmarks mest populære og læste forfattere.

For sit forfatterskab er Davidsen, udover et