Hard Currency by Steven Owad
(Five Star Mystery Series)

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Warsaw, 1992. Three years have passed since the end of communism. For former democracy crusader Julian Krol, there are no dragons left to slay--or are there?

Julian's estranged sister Krystyna is found dead in a seedy Warsaw apartment. The police rule the death a drug-aided suicide and inform Julian that Krystyna had been a prostitute. The last time Julian saw her, she was a gifted student with all the skills needed to thrive in the newly free Poland. What drove Krystyna to destruction? And did she really kill herself, or was she murdered?

Julian explores her recent past and runs up against budding evils of the new world order: a mushrooming drug trade, a feckless police force, rampant corruption. Poland might be free, but for many communists-turned-capitalists, it's a free-for-all.

About Steven Owad

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Steven Owad journalism and moved to Bangkok, Thailand, where he taught English and began traveling Southeast Asia. Owad started writing short stories and sought work in the newly democratic countries of Eastern Europe, taking another teaching job, and later, working as deputy managing editor of "The Warsaw Voice Weekly," He began writing plays in the early 1990s, which have been produced at small North American theatres. The experience gave him the confidence to write the novel, "Bodycheck.
Published July 6, 2012 by Five Star. 264 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hard Currency

Kirkus Reviews

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When the incredulous Mirsk threatens to call security, Irena drops the name Krystyna Krol and patiently explains that because an employee of Mirsk's, a thug named Oskar Ret, supplied Krystyna with illegal drugs, Ret, and by extension the politically ambitious Mirsk, is implicated in Krystyna's dr...

Jun 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Hard Currency (Five Star Myst...

Publishers Weekly

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As Kroll puts his investigative instincts into play and interviews the overworked medical examiner, the caustic police lieutenant in charge of the case, and Krystyna’s cynical roommates, a disturbing picture emerges of his sister, whose private life had troubling connections to the corrupt bure...

Apr 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Hard Currency (Five Star Myst...

Reviewing the Evidence

Though thankfully the book doesn't suffer from the obesity epidemic that is nudging books toward 400 pages, I found myself at times wishing for a bit more description and texture, if only because I wanted to spend more time in a setting is so rich with possibilities.

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