Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Polished black Polish

A brilliant piece of Polish-Jewish noir

A Grain of Truth/ By Zygmunt Miloszewski/ Bitter lemon Press, £8.99

    After Scandinavian noir and Finnish noir, we now have Polish noir. Or, should I say, Polish-Jewish noir.
    For Zygmunt Miloszewski’s terrific A Grain of Truth (Bitter Lemon Press, £8.99) examines the fraught relations between Poles and Jews, 70 years after the country’s Jews were destroyed by the Holocaust.

    James Callaghan’s telling phrase, “a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on” would certainly apply to the goings-on in the Polish backwater town of Sandomierz.

    Teodor Szacki, the gloriously miserable prosecutor hero, is faced with a series of murders which look at first sight as though they are the work of frustrated Jews — despite the fact that there are no longer any Jews in the town.

    Szacki is obliged to demolish a series of antisemitic canards, each more preposterous than the next, finally taking advice from a young rabbi in Lublin.

    Miloszewski has a high time matching his Eeyore-ish anti-hero to several rapacious women in Sandomierz. In small towns, he tells us, everyone knows everyone else’s business. But, outside the comedy, the writer is at the top of his game, cleverly weaving in a Hebrew clue — containing a deliberate error — near the end of the thriller.

    The “Grain of Truth” refers to the many myths that surround the place of Jews in present-day Polish culture. Miloszewski’s book is a small gem.

The Jewish Chronicle

Review: Reunion

Amanda Hopkinson

Friday, November 25, 2016

Review: Reunion
Books

A taste for forbidden flavours

Michael Kaminer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A taste for forbidden flavours
The Jewish Chronicle

Jodi Picoult competition entry form

Keren David

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Jodi Picoult competition entry form
The Jewish Chronicle

Review: Freud: In His Time and Ours

Stephen Frosh

Friday, November 25, 2016

Review: Freud: In His Time and Ours
Books

Jodi Picoult - The book that changed me

Keren David

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jodi Picoult - The book that changed me
Books

Review: Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East b...

Robert Philpot

Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East b...
Books

Can you solve these knotty problems?

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Can you solve these knotty problems?
Books

Getting ahead is a slice of pie

Suzanne Levy

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Getting ahead is a slice of pie
The Jewish Chronicle

Review: A Horse Walks Into A Bar

Stoddard Martin

Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: A Horse Walks Into A Bar