by Ben Pastor

. A disturbing mix of detection and reflection."Publishers Weekly"A mystery, it rivets the reader until the end and beyond, with its twist of historical realities.

A character study, it captures the thoughts and actions of real people, not stereotypes."TheFree Lance-StarPart wartime political intrigue, detective story, psychological thriller, and religious mystery, Ben Pastor's debut follows a German army captain and a Chicago priest as they investigate the death of a nun in Nazi-occupied Poland.In October 1939 Captain Martin Bora discovers the abbess, Mother Kazimierza, shot dead in her convent garden.

Her alleged power to see the future has brought her a devoted following; her work and motto, "Lumen Christi Adiuva Nos" ("Light of Christ, help us"), appear also to have brought some enemies.Father Malecki has come to Cracow, at the pope's bidding, to investigate Mother Kazimierza's powers.

The interference of seductive actress Ewa Kowalska does not help matters.Ben Pastor, born in Italy, has lived for thirty years in the United States, working as a university professor in Vermont.

  • Series: Captain Martin Bora
  • Language: English
  • Category: Mystery
  • Rating: 3.69
  • Pages: 288
  • Publish Date: April 19th 2011 by Bitter Lemon Press
  • Isbn10: 1904738664
  • Isbn13: 9781904738664

Read the Book "Lumen" Online

Con la precisione siamo nellottobre del 1939 nella Cracovia occupata da poco dalle truppe tedesche: Martin Von Bora, giovane capitano della Wehrmacht, occupato nelle operazioni belliche, viene anche incaricato di indagare sulla morte di Madre Kazimierza, badessa venerata dalla popolazione come una santa capace di operare miracoli. L'atmosfera della Cracovia degli anni 30, una città destabilizzata dallautorità tedesca e in preda al disordine e alla violenza crescente, fra i quartieri popolari, la costruzione del ghetto, le campagne devastate e il convento in cui viene ritrovata morta la badessa, si respira a pieni polmoni.

He is also working with Colonel Hofer, who has been visiting an Abess, Mother Kazimierza, claimed to be a saint. This leads to Bora visiting the convent with Hofer, where he comes into contact with Father Malecki, a priest and American citizen, who has been given the task by the Church of investigating the unofficial cult surrounding the Abess. When Mother Kazimierza is shot, Father Malecki unwillingly has to help Bora investigate.

Set in the aftermath of the German invasion of Poland in late 1939, this is a well written thriller about a Wehrmacht captain, Martin Bora and an American Catholic priest, Father Malecki who join forces to investigate the death of an Abess, Mother Kazimierza, claimed to be a saint.

In one sense it's a crime novel/mystery, with not one but two homicides to investigate, and two different killers. In another sense it's a war novel, being set not long after the 1939 invasion of Poland by the Nazis. Intelligence officer Captain Martin Bora is thus put in charge of the investigation and the Cracow cops are barred from it. And Bora has another death to investigate. Even though he's a Nazi, he has a core of honor, of integrity, even of decency, and as the book progresses we see this inner Martin Bora stir more and more.

Il lato più interessante del libro è proprio questo: lambientazione storica e il personaggio di Martin Bora, che nasce come un freddo ufficiale ligio al dovere e si evolve, attraversando una crisi di coscienza che lo coinvolge sia dal lato strettamente personale e sentimentale che soprattutto dilaniando il suo animo tra dovere militare e la propria coscienza, tra la morte che lesercito tedesco, di cui le SS sono il braccio violento e la bocca che ingoia vite umane , porta nella terra conquistata, e il senso di umanità e di rispetto per la vita che in Martin Bora, aristocratico, colto, musicista, laureato in filosofia, cattolico e lettore di Thomas Mann (messo allindice dai nazisti), non è fortunatamente morto ma sopravvive come un lumen, una luce nelle tenebre.

Having read and really liked the first two of Pastor's Roman mysteries, I read this installment in her Martin Bora series. Bora works with a Polish-American priest America has not yet entered the war to find the culprit.

It is a novel of crime fiction, but the actual crimes and their solutions tend to take a back seat to the main character, Captain Martin Bora of the Wehrmacht Intelligence division. He had seen her before her death when he would accompany his superior officer Colonel Hofer, who went to see the Abbess on personal matters, so when she is killed, Bora is assigned to look into the case. But his investigative prowess does not actually take center stage in this novel -- although he's quite good at what he does -- it is his gradual awareness of growing doubts about a cause that supports mass killing, cover ups, racial superiority and the deaths of innocent people which make Bora stand out as a character. And there's no room in the Wehrmacht for a "young captain with scruples," according to his commanding officer Colonel Schenck: "If you start feeling sorry so early on, Bora, you're screwed.

Also distracting from the mystery is the fact that the Nazis apparently talked about sperm alot.

The key figure in Ben Pastors excellent historical mystery LUMEN seems to be a murdered nun. The German Commander, Lt. Colonel Emile Schenck appoints Captain Martin Bora to head up the investigation into the nuns death. For the investigation of the Holy Abbess Bora, a Jesuit himself must collaborate with Father John Malecki, an American priest from Chicago who had been sent by the Archbishop to study the phenomenon of Matka Kazimierza. Once she was murdered he was instructed to remain in Cracow and assist in the investigation with the German authorities. As the story evolves Boras moral confusion no longer controls him as he witnesses what Nazism has brought to Poland. Pastor does a remarkable job developing her characters, particularly the relationship that grows between Bora and Father Malecki. The author also develops the characters of a number of Polish actresses, especially Ewa Kowalska and her daughter Helena Sokora who were both involved with Boras roommate.