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Liberation Movements

(The Yalta Boulevard Sequence #4)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  709 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Olen Steinhauer's acclaimed literary crime series set in a fictional country in Eastern Europe began in the heady post--World War II era and has taken readers from the first noise of revolution through to the chaos of the 1960s and '70s.
The year is 1975, and one of the People's Militia homicide investigators is on a plane out of the capital, bound for Istanbul. The pla
Published November 1st 2006 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published August 22nd 2006)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  709 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some reviewers found this, the fourth in his 5 part series set in the Unnamed Fictional Eastern European Nation Under Soviet Control After WWII (Ufeenuscaw??), to be the best yet, but like some others, I thought it the weakest.
The prior books, centered on the homicide unit of the People’s Militia (but overtly overseen by the resident officer from the Ministry of State Security), evoked the dark and dismal atmosphere of both a war torn country and the effects of being under the Soviet thumb. And
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great one from Olen Steinhauer, my new favorite author. Can't wait to pick up more of his books.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, crime, spies
The setting for Liberation Movements is Eastern Europe in the mid-seventies where connections from the past are influencing current events. An Armenian terrorist group blows up a plane en route to Istanbul. This act reverberates through the state militia impacting police officers Gavra Noukas and Katja Drdova in troubling ways.

This was my first read by Olen Steinhauer and it's the fourth book in the Yalta Boulevard series. I'd recommend starting with the first in this series as I believe an unde
Barbara Heckendorn
Also the fourth volume of the Eastern Bloc series has been thrilling from the beginning. This part switched back and forth between the student riots in Prague (1968) and a few years later in Kiev and Istanbul. At first, I did not understand why this had to be so. Nevertheless, both parts were very important and over time, I also saw the connection behind it. Steinhauer has a main theme in every book in this series. This time it's about parapsychological experiments that were carried out on peopl ...more
Wenzel Roessler
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took some time for the stories to gel but when they did the plot turned from interesting to intense. Also the author found a unique way of providing background for the characters and time period.
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cold-war
I really not sure I know what to feel about this one. Apart from a certain amount of disappointment.

Come on Olen, I know you can do better than this.

To be honest, I'm not even completely sure I know what it was all about. Which is why I'm a little disappointed, as I was tremendously impressed by and thoroughly enjoyed the two previous books of his I've read.

Istanbul Variations really is nowhere near as good as it should have been, based on that previous experience. Nowhere near as mind-bogglingl
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again, Olen Steinhauer intrigues. This is the fourth in the Yalta Boulevard series (there is one more). Read all five and I think you’ll have a good feel for Soviet Bloc Eastern Europe with more nuances, secret dealings, and clandestine untruths. Might sound a bit familiar these days. In this novel, we have Gavra Noukas, a secret policeman, and Katja Drdova, a homicide detective—with the setting in 1975 in the Capital of the unnamed Eastern European nation that could as easily be Bulgaria or Rom ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, own
Another book, another decade: The fourth Yalta Boulevard novel is set in 1975, and it opens quite literally with a bang. Hijacked by Armenian terrorists, a plane en route to Istanbul blows up in midair, killing everyone aboard. Among the passengers was an investigator of the People's Militia, as well as a strange young woman with even stranger insights in things she couldn't possibly know. As the dead man's colleagues investigate, the trail leads to shadowy operations within the Ministry and to ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the stronger installments of the series. Could easily be read as a stand-alone, in my opinion. An interesting tale of a hijacking gone wrong, continuing the setting and many of the characters from previous books. Lots of short chapters with shifting points of view that are effectively handled to increase suspense and provide plenty of backstory. The different threads come together well to create a satisfying conclusion. Exciting and well-paced, easier to read and less convoluted than some ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Only two are left in the homicide department of the People's Militia after the Armenian in the office is blown up on a plane to Istanbul. Why and who is essence of this thriller, fourth in the quintet. Set in the never named country near Poland and Hungary in the period after the WWII, it portrays a gloomy and murderous world. We meet two younger recruits who are being trained by Bruno Sev, the arch manipulator. The psychological powers of a a beautiful woman are a over the top, but hey, this is ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never lets me down.
Good plot, good story, keeps me guessing.
Not as polished as le Carré but still awfully well done.
Doesn't rely on sensationism or gore.
Subtlety is key, in my opinion, and Steinhauer is subtle.
Worth reading the whole catalog.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I love reading novels that teach me something and Steinhaur helps make sense of a tumultious time in the eastern European Bloc while providing an entertaining read.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Olen Steinhauer I have read. It is a pretty good thriller. I enjoyed the setting with scenes from Czechoslovakia and Turkey.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm quite liking this series by Olen Steinhauer.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an odd one, interesting but odd.
Mahesh Phadke
Jul 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF, supremely boring.
This has such a massively unsatisfactory ending I threw the book across the couch when I finished! If I didn't love the complex plots, excellent writing, and cool setting, I would never persevere.
Maryann Zucker
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another read in one day. Couldn’t put it down. It’s 2:30 am and I have to work tomorrow. LOL
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A plane bound for Istanbul is hijacked by Armenian terrorists, but it doesn't go according to plan. The ensuing investigation uncovers a very dark operation that's been a little too successful over the years.

Set in 1975 in a fictional, Eastern European country which the author describes as "the intersection of Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, and Romania", this novel has two noticeable features: a complex plot and an unusual structure. The complicated plot is almost a given considering it's a
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Olen Steinhauer’s fourth novel in the Yalta series is an experiment on the author’s part, and sometimes experiments don’t work. I won’t go so far as to call Liberation Movements a failed experiment, but it isn’t entirely successful, either.

The problem with the novel isn’t that it plays with time. I actually enjoy a story that is told out of sequential order when it serves the plot and is handled adeptly. Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite films, and part of the reason I love it is the way Tarant
Mal Warwick
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love, Betrayal, and Terrorism Behind the Iron Curtain

Mystery piles atop mystery in this fourth installment of Olen Steinhauer’s five-novel cycle of life behind the Iron Curtain. The previous books were set in decades past, the post-war 40s, 50s, and 60s. In Liberation Movements, the action takes place in 1968 and 1975, relating two seemingly unconnected stories that only much later merge, raising yet more mysterious questions.

The plot revolves around Peter Husak and Katja Drdova, the former a Cz
Carl R.
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Are liberation movements ideological or personal? In Steinhauer’s world, apparently, ideology means little or nothing at all. Not to the Armenians, not the Turks, not to the communists—not to anyone. My last Steinhauer was The Bridge of Sighs (Nov. 30, 2009), which impressed me favorably, if not overwhelmingly. Liberation Movements is even better. This guy is a real writer.
The Armenians in question hijack a plane. The socialists/communists (Like The Bridge of Sighs, Liberation Movements is set i
Kathleen Hagen
Liberation Movements, by Olen Steinhauer, b, narrated by Bo Foxworth, Lorna Raver, Robertson Dean, Jane Jacobs, and Yuri Rasovsky, Produced by Blackstone Audio, Downloaded from

This book I found confusing. We kept skipping back and forth between 1968 and 1975. At least one of the perpetrators/murderers changed names three times in those seven years, and the superiors of the detectives were purposely withholding information from the investigators. The publisher’s note describes this b
I liked this carefully plotted and exciting spy/detective story even better than the other novel by Steinhauer that I've read, "The Confession"(of Ferenc Kolyeszar). Steinhauer has jettisoned the shopworn device of the discovered manuscript and instead tells the story via chapters devoted to different characters' points of view. The place is the same, an unnamed Soviet satellite nation, but the period has been moved up several decades, to the late '60s-early '70s. The atmosphere isn't quite so n ...more
This review is from the editor. I'm adding here to remind me of this series. I hope to read all of L. Steinhauer. L

The year is 1975, and one of the People's Militia homicide investigators is on a plane out of the capital, bound for Istanbul. The plane is hijacked by Armenian terrorists, but before the Turkish authorities can fulfill their demands, the plane explodes in midair." Two investigators - Gavra Noukas, a secret policeman, and Katja Drdova, a homicide detective - are assigned to the case
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book of the series that focuses on the members of a murder investigation unit in the capital of a fictional Eastern European country. It is shorter than the other books; I was able to read it very quickly. It was still quite enjoyable, well written with a coherent believable plot (for the most part believable, I found part of the story a stretch.)
After a flight to Istanbul is high-jacked and blown up mid-flight, the murder unit's investigation focuses on a woman who was on th
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Steinhauer takes a helluva lot of risks with this novel and almost pulls them off. A hyper-original espionage/crime/revenge thriller set in Steinhauer's imaginary Eastern/Soviet Bloc country (smells like a mix of Hungary and Slovakia). Steinhauer has a genius for characters and he has developed many fantastic ones throughout his 36 Yalta series. IN Liberation Movements he throws a couple huge curves into the series. His two main characters are a gay secret police protégé and a revenge-seeking ho ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
'Liberation Movements' is one book in the series of Olen Steinhauer where each book is written from another character's viewpoint, all members of a group of militia men that work in the same homicide department office.
I found the story intriguing and interesting; one well-done style element is that the storytelling jumps between several main characters, and often tells the same incidents later again, from another person's viewpoint (which is very enlightening). At some points I got a bit confuse
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone - mystery/spy buffs
The second book (after, The Tourist") that I have read by this author.

This one is set in his fictional Eastern block country, which in a mild way drove me nuts while reading it. I kept thinking the author could have, should have, just set the story in a real country and be done with it. But, that didn't detract from the quality of the writing the devilishness of the plot, or the interesting characters.

I'm not sure when I will pick up another book by Mr. Steinhauer, but I plan too, and I recommen
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You had me until 'but then everything fell apart because it turned out she didn't actually know Everything'! A convenient but horribly unsatisfying & anti-empirical way to tie up the loose ends of this otherwise intriguing story. I also felt there was far too much character missing from the characters. What was anyone's motivation? Why did almost no one have a backstory? Why not tell us enough to differentiate personalities?
One of the only backstories provided belongs to a character we're only b
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Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he's lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy. He also spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and dau ...more

Other books in the series

The Yalta Boulevard Sequence (5 books)
  • The Bridge of Sighs (The Yalta Boulevard Sequence #1)
  • The Confession (The Yalta Boulevard Sequence #2)
  • 36 Yalta Boulevard (The Yalta Boulevard Sequence #3)
  • Victory Square (The Yalta Boulevard Sequence #5)

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