the successor - kadareAs someone with no prior knowledge of recent Albanian history, this was something of an education. In December 1981, Mehmet Shehu – the designated successor to Albania’s Communist dictator Enver Hoxha – was found shot dead in his home. The mystery around the death – was it a suicide? was he murdered by the state? – has never been resolved. Kadare takes this mystery and crafts it into a claustrophobic and fear-laden account of what might have been going through the minds of those concerned. The narrative creeps, peering into foreign intelligence bureaus – to whom 1980s Albania is an enigma – rifling through the memories of the dead man’s daughter, weighing up the motives of the architect of the house, and even poking around in the thoughts of “the Guide” himself. Peculiar, but engrossing.

Set in Tirana, Albania.

Recommended by @lewisalloyd.

Buy the book here.