This, Ismail Kadare's most recent novel, is a fictional inquiry into the still-unexplained death of Mehmet Shehu, the man who for decades was the designated Number Two political figure in Communist dictator Enver Hoxha's ironfisted and increasingly paranoid regime.
On the night of December 13, 1981, the so-called Successor was shot dead, sometime between midnight and early morning. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered? This is the burning question. There are a number of potential murderers: the architect in charge of renovating the Successor's new quarters, who knew of the secret underground passage to his home; a rising political figure, Adrian Hasobeu, who if the current successor were to disappear would surely be named Number Two; the dictator himself - known to his countrymen as the Guide - now ailing and almost blind, unable to countenance even the idea of being replaced; and, incredibly, the Successor's wife.
The Successor combines a tantalizing mystery with a historical novel (Who killed Mehmet Shehu?), a psychological examination (How do you live in a world where nothing is sure?), and an analysis of a dictatorship so repressive that its followers treat it as a religious faith, where love, and indeed all personal relations, are subject to the whims and demands of the state.
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Review: The SuccessorUser Review - Steven Quick - Goodreads
Seeming at first to be a whodunnit, this short novel takes some odd turns, then in the final chapter becomes completely indescribable. And that's a good thing. Read full review
Review: The SuccessorUser Review - Kris McCracken - Goodreads
Perhaps the dullest Albanian book I've ever read. Surprising really, given the potential of the subject matter. D. Read full review
ONE A Death in December
TWO The Autopsy
THREE Fond Memories
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