The Mysterious Bookshop

Mattich, Alen, The Heart of Hell: A Marko Della Torre Novel

Autumn 1991. Civil war has broken out in Yugoslavia with Croatia’s declaration of independence, and former secret policeman Marko della Torre is set adrift. Department VI, the internal investigations unit, is now in a state of paralysis as Belgrade struggles to maintain its hold as the region’s centre of power.

When the body of a young woman, identified as American agent Rebecca Vees, washes up on the shores of Italy, della Torre is summoned by U.S. authorities. He is the last person to have seen Rebecca alive. Her two colleagues have also been found shot dead on an island in Croatia, and della Torre is coerced into locating the man they think is responsible for their deaths: the corrupt and unscrupulous Zagreb cop, Julius Strumbic. Forced to navigate Yugoslavia’s bloody civil war in order to track Strumbic’s whereabouts, della Torre has to decide whether he will warn his old friend or give him up to the Americans to save himself.

In The Heart of Hell, Alen Mattich delivers a powerful political thriller that depicts the horrors and machinations of the Yugoslav civil war and the humanity of those who survive it.

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