George Arion

 

 

 

(Romania)

 

 

Visit from other planet

 

“Personally I deny the possibility of the conspirator theory, that says the UFO-s come from the future and the government knows this thing, but they hide it.”                                  

Stephen  W. Hawking

 

 
One night, above Barintown such a bright object appeared that nobody had ever seen. It had remained unmoved for almost 10 minutes or it had flown in a dizzying speed to the edge of the town, it had come back as fast as before, it had climbed at a height from where it hardly could be seen, it had climbed down, it had gone crisscross, had taken a bee line, had gone in concentric circles, it had drawn squares,  rhombuses and rectangulars with its trajectory, then he had risen on a perfect vertical, disappearing as if it had never existed. Before being invisible, it had sent a blue-colored ray, as a comforting farewell sign. No motor noise had been heard in that time.

Thousands of town-people, who were on the streets or called out from the houses, from the restaurants, from the cinemas, had been present at the evolution of the strange object. Some had taken a photo of it or had filmed it. But neither the cameras, nor the journalists recording had managed to capture the picture. And on the airport radar only the planes that were taking off or were landing appeared.

That night many people stayed outside, hoping that the enigmatic vehicle might have come back. But it hasn’t come back. And the next day, the newspapers, the radios, the TV sets were deeply concerned about that strange appearance. The news quickly circulated the world. Several experts on UFO-s had gone to the town, asking questions around, collating the eye-witnesses, analyzing their answers likening similar cases. In case the phenomenon of a collective hypnosis had taken place, it means that in Barintown had been the most outstanding event of the history of Ufology. This brought grist to the adepts’ mill, whose theory was that the extra-terrestrial civilization had visited us in the past and they still visit us nowadays. The clubs formed by guys who sustained that they had been kidnapped and green goblins had put them through different experiments or had implemented chips inside them to be overlooked or had offered them a voyage in space, where they had significant advancements in their activities.

But in the headlines there was more news. That very night two young people had been killed. The case would have escaped observation if one of them hadn’t been the doctor Bert Smithon’s son , a famous doctor not only from Barintown, but a great specialist in surgery, often invited in Europe to operate patients whose life hung by a hair.

Paul Smithon hasn’t reached 25 years old yet. The night when that unseen object had appeared in the sky, he was with his girlfriend Myrthie, in a night club at the edge of the town where a band of very talented Negroes attracted customers from all the social strata. Paul was on his second glass of beer, Myrthie hadn’t finished the first yet when in the club some uproar took place. Somebody had come from outside, announcing with his voice full of emotion that above the town something strange happened. Everybody crowded to go out, some of them taking advantage of the created chaos not to pay their bill, driving the barman and the waiters to despair, who already were counting how much money would be necessary to make their restitution.

After paying their beer, Paul and Myrthie went out to the street. They looked up in the sky, but they didn’t see anything unusual.  The object, if there was an object, had just risen up at a height from where it seemed a certain star. But just when to say that the whole agitation had been a joker’s work, the object appeared again, evolving on unbelievable tracks. All were standing there, having their eyes in the sky, pointing to and commenting noisily.

To see better, the surgeon’s son and his girlfriend- actually his fiancée, their wedding had already been established, they pulled away. Soon, they also began to exclaim speechless before the show they were witnessing. They didn’t notice the approaching of three hulking chaps who had been stalking them since they were in the night club, while having drunk a lot of whisky. They pushed them in a gangway – the young people had been shouting in vain. Because of the noise provoked by the panic-stricken crowd nobody heard them. They quickly stabbed Paul as soon as they arrived in the darkness which protected them. He died on the spot. Then all of them raped Myrthie , in that gangway, after putting a handkerchief into her mouth. Then they stabbed her, too.

They took their watches away, some hundreds of dollars, and the jewels that the woman was wearing. Upset because they hadn’t found on them the credit cards, they gave them a dig in the head, in the abdomen, where they happened. Then they went some streets farther, went into another club and began drinking as if nothing had happened.

The inspector Joseph Pyron was sleeping soundly when all of this happened. He was in a fog about the wonderful story the town was abiding by. He found out about the double homicide at 4 o’clock in the morning, when the phone woke him up from a sleep without dreams.  Actually, his wife had heard the strident bell, and hardly managed to persuade him to answer. The dispatcher at the police station where he worked as an inspector, informed him that two corpses were waiting for him on the Queensy street.

Pyron was on the brink of his retirement and he already had an old man’s habits. Once he would have hit the ceiling, hurried to put something on and would have rushed away eager to arrive as fast as possible to the place where he had been called. But now he leisurely crept under the shower, alternated the warm with the cold water, to drive the tiredness away from the last days, when he had been busy with a wretched inquiry – a chap whom the press had nicknamed him “The Butcher” and who killed the prostitutes, hacked them and scattered their mortal remains in the rubbish-bins of the town. He got some summer trousers on and a short-sleeved T-shirt, putting some thin-soled shoes on. He ate without haste a sandwich with ham and drank a cup of coffee without sugar, ignoring the horn of the car which had come for him. Only after he had washed the kettle and the cup and put them back, well dried, he went out. He got into the car without noticing the driver’s irritation.

On the way, he remarked the great number of people on the streets, unusual for that hour. But he said nothing. As a revenge because he was brought to wait so long, the driver didn’t explain anything to him, although he recognized he was puzzled.

At the scene there was always hustle and bustle in such situations. The forensic pathologist had already done the preliminary observations, the photographer had taken the photos of the corpses from different angles. Pyron was again amazed of the open-mouthed crowd, kept at the distance by a yellow ribbon delimiting the murder scenery.

“What back of Bourke happens with these?”

Even when he wasn’t upset, the inspector was strewing his words with swearwords.  Some colleagues pointed him blank in his youth not to speak without restraint, but he quickly brought them down a peg or two, giving them the bum’s rush, thinking nothing of it. But now nobody dared to scold him.

The one who threw daylight upon him was the colleague himself who had driven him by car. Meanwhile he turned the corner. Pyron listened to him with half listening, looking at the two bloody corpses.

“Shit! I’ll take over a rough road to all who hunt for the UFOs. Come along! Let’s get down to business! Does a lunkhead know who these two are?”

There was a lunkhead who knew and told him their names were discovered on the young people’s licenses. Hearing the boy’s name his face made grimaces.

“Crap!”

Not many years ago, Bert Smithon had saved his life, operating him of a colon cancer. He held him in estimation very much.

“Who discovered them?”

“Me.”

A bloke livid in the face –or maybe he looked so in the morning light that rising, proudly came near him. The smell of drink turned the inspector’s stomach.

“Keep away! I don’t have the gas mask on me.”

The bloke backed away, disappeared by the way he was welcomed by the big boss. He had thought that after his discovery and the telephone call of 911 he would have been given a moment of glory. But this damned policeman didn’t seem to appreciate his feat.

“I had been in the bar until somebody told me that something up in the sky could be seen. We all came out like from an earthquake. After that, some went back to drink and to chip in with their opinion about the nondescript from the sky. There is a skeleton in the cupboard.”

“I’m not interested in the monsters in the sky.”

More and more dispirited and livid in the bloke’s face – not because of the darkness, but because of the drink- he said the following words as if they were spattered from a machine gun.

“At about some minutes to 4, we ran for it. We had a great rush from the beer. We entered this gangway ‘cause it was safe. And here we came across those two. As stiff as a board.”

Pyron shuddered. If the bloke had gotten more tipsy, he would have made water on the lifeless bodies.

“I went into reverse, I went back in the bar and I called the police. And after this I relieved nature.”

Saying these, he looked lordly around him, waiting for somebody to congratulate him because his civic spirit had gained the upper hand of some pressing physiological needs.

But Pyron didn’t seem affected.

“Did you see anyone thereabout?”

The forensic pathologist had mercy on the bloke and interfered:

“At that hour these two had had their issue for a long time. I can take the stand for this.”

The inspector had the creeps. He didn’t manage to accustom neither after almost 30 years of being a policeman with the treatment implemented to dead bodies. A drunkman who was about to relieve himself on the corpses, a forensic pathologist who was speaking about some “these” in connection with two young people who a day before had laughed, had loved each other, maybe had made future plans, some boozers looking ravenously around to have something to tell their wives, to their scrubs, by detail, of course, exaggerating…. The hyenas of journalists were missing their race for sensational news. No, they appeared busy, equipped with cameras, pens and notebooks.

“Take down a written statement!”

Then he looked around him. He saw two supervised cameras, mounted at their height, also on two buildings. Maybe there were others, too, but he couldn’t see him.

“I want the records from all the supervised cameras in the area!”

“They have already been taken.”

Several journalists approached him. He avoided them and got up into his car. He didn’t dare to swear but did in his mind. He quickly calmed down.

Having becomes calm again, he had something awfully hard to do.

 

* * *

 

For Bert Smithon it was going to be an exhausting day.  Together with his team he had to operate a patient who was hovering between life and death.

He woke up at 6am as usual. He had slept well, more than seven hours, not being tormented by his dreams in which his wife appeared, whom he couldn’t save from a cancer embedded in her lungs.  Even if two years had passed since then, he couldn’t get used to waking up in his large bed, where sometimes he was looking for her body in his sleep. The house where he lived was huge for one man – at one time Paul was sleeping at his fiancée, where there were only some days until their wedding. The famous surgeon didn’t give up at his house with three bedrooms, with a large living-room, a bookcase where some thousands volumes had gathered, only by indolence. Against his house which had his own clinic, equipped with the most modern apparatus. The multi-millionaire Adam Clark, who appealed to his services, had made an important contribution to its endowment. A common door and pleasant environment yet the doctor had entered a universe of misery he felt obliged to alleviate. The clinic could shelter only at the most 10 sick people.  Here he operated hopeless cases for others. Usually, he managed to bring his patients home. The flashes in the pan hallmarked him for much time, reproaching himself that he didn’t top a hill.

He had just finished his breakfast and had drank his coffee, when he heard the front doorbell. He looked at his watch – who could be so matutinal? He opened the door curiously. On the doorstep there was Joseph Pyron , abandoned to a noticeable fluster.

“Joseph! What happened? Are you feeling badly?”

The policeman was swinging from one foot to another. He didn’t look into his eyes. The eyes of an indefinite colour of a little man – he wasn’t  more than 1 metre 60 and he had a head that seemed bigger on a body so short and weak.

“ Doctor…Mister Smithon…”

How many times had he been the messenger of sad news? Each time when he had announced mothers or fathers that their son or daughter had been killed or husbands that their wives had been raped and killed, had been awful. But now it was worse than ever.

“Doctor…I’m sorry… Your son has been killed.”

“What are you saying?”

“And the girl who was with him was killed, too.”

The doctor’s face petrified. In some words, Pyron told him all he knew until that moment. The great surgeon looked at him as if he had spoken an unknown language. The policeman didn’t know neither what to say, nor what to do.

“You ought to come to the morgue…For identification.”

The doctor nodded and entered the house. He managed to arrive to the sofa where he fell down like defeated. He sat with his head in his hands more than one hour. When he got up, he didn’t look like he was 60 years old. He had aged suddenly.

However he pulled himself up and went slowly to the clinic door.

 

* * *

 

The policemen were lucky. On two of the cassettes of the supervised cameras there were three men who were pushing Paul and Myrthie in the gangway. Then, they came out of there counting some money and buttoned their trousers up. In these pictures their faces could be seen, too. They were laughing mockingly.

The three had been the policemen’s customers. Ivo Branici, Li Ming, Sile Bunea – a Serbian, a Chinese and a Gypsy from Romania who had committed some small hold-ups for which they had got some years. But they had never killed anyone. Or maybe they escaped wiping their prints away skillfully.

They were sought out throughout the whole town. Nobody knew where they were. It was as if they made themselves invisible. The organized filters, raids and the inquisitions in the dubious houses had no result. They were on the register. The FBI didn’t have any success either. Instead, a furious campaign started against the foreigners that took advantages of the hospitality of America and a made game of it.

Some months had passed. That bright globe that had appeared above the town was talked about less and less. Maybe it had been a weather balloon that had escaped freely absent-mindedly. Or a new secret plane about which it’s better to keep silent.

They seldom mentioned the death of the two young people. Meanwhile, other murderers occupied the attention of the inhabitants who became increasingly frightened about the profileration of the  violence everywhere.  An analyst compared this as a sign of an approaching warrior who tempers the bloodthirst of some people and unfetters the negative energies accumulated at a planetary level. A truth of a kernel could exist in Nick’s words. The Butcher hadn’t been caught and continued his bloody deeds.

Joseph Pyron became more crabby. He began to swear at home, too, driving Mrs. Pyron to desperation, who sometimes turned a deaf ear to him not to hear anymore. He rose at a feather – for example if he didn’t find his shoes where he had let them, if the water from the tap wasn’t warm enough, if the boy who was bringing the Barintown News was late, whatever the reason was. A flood of curse words poured down from his mouth like a mountain waterfall.

One day he mustered up his courage and rang at Bert Smithon’s door. Nobody answered him. The window hangings were drawn. The house seemed deserted. He heard that the doctor had closed the clinic and had given up all his collaborators. He didn’t answer the invitations of operating in other places. He seldom could be seen in town. Actually he went once a week to the supermarket, where he got food from. He had seen him several times pushing a trolley as full as an egg is of meat, but he didn’t dare to go near him. A little man charged of thoughts, hardly dragging his feet.

Pyron went home mopishly. However he breathed relieved because he hadn’t talked to the doctor. As a matter of fact, what to tell him? That he had put his foot into an investigation that he wanted to solve as never before wanted in such cases? To try to comfort him because the murderers slipped from his grasp? How could you find comforting words for somebody who had lost their, their future daughter-in-law with a child of three months?

 

* * *

 

In fact the surgeon had been home that day. When he heard the front doorbell, he drew the hangings a little away and saw Pyron. He immediately drew the hangings back. Then he went into the kitchen where some meat was sizzling in a frying-pan. He adjusted the fire once more, added some spices and waited for some minutes. When the sausages and the meatballs looked appetizing, he took them out of the fire and he put them with a trowel on some expensive china plates. Then he slowly washed the frying-pan, dried it with a tea-towel and put it in a cupboard.

With the plates in hand he went to the clinic door. He seemed to perform on the tight rope not to drop the plates while he was opening and closing the door behind him. Nobody was in the hall. Then he opened another door and arrived in a poorly lit hall. He put the plates down on a small table and entered a consulting room where the daylight hardly filtered through some metal transparencies. He put a green dressing gown on and on the head he put a cap that made his head even bigger.

In the consulting room there was a locker with two doors, a type of blinds.  He let down one of the blinds, giving him access to the drawers. From one drawer he took out a medical sheet that he looked carefully. After a time, he put it back and he put the blind up. He looked around once again as if he wanted to make certain that he didn’t forget anything of what he had planned to solve and went out in the hall. He took some of the plates, he took a few steps until he arrived in front of a ward, he took a deep breath and entered.

The patient was lying in bed, covered with a sheet to the neck. Under the head bandage only the eyes could be seen that were watching the pictures on TV where a science-fiction film was on, with flying saucers, green aliens that invaded the Earth. He didn’t hear the doctor coming in. His eyes noticed him coming only after he bent down over him.

“How are we feeling today? Have we got appetite? We must have it because an important operation is waiting for us. Ready with the perfusions, we’ll begin to eat delicious dishes.”

He showed him the plate whose contents had gotten a little cold. The patient’s eyes glimmered heartily. On the screen an intergalactic war had just started.

The meat pieces had been minced. The doctor sat down by his bedside and began to feed his patient. He took one small piece with a fork and put it gingerly into his mouth. The patient began to chew with appetite, swallowing with difficulty because of the uncomfortable position. Bert Smithon arranged him better placing the pillow under his head.

“So, so…I’m sorry I didn’t realize you weren’t sitting well. What do you like better: the sausages or the meatballs? Don’t bother to answer me – just chew right.”

His voice was tender, as if he was speaking to a sick child.

After feeding him, he dried his mouth carefully with a napkin. He also gave him water to drink from a glass on the night table. The patient gave a stifled groan. But the doctor watched him with a false sternness.

“It’s enough for today. It isn’t good for you a cooked meal all at once”

He checked the monitor at the headboard that registered the patient’s temperature, the tension and the pulse.

“The tension 13.7, the pulse 70, the temperature 36.6…Well, well! After we leave the clinic we can become spacemen…”

But the patient didn’t hear anymore. His eye-lids had closed, deepening in a forgetful sleep. On the TV screen only some black stripes could be seen.

The doctor rewound the video cassette and turned it on again. The screen was full of unreal colours, with pictures representing stellar explosions, deliveries of galaxies, star collisions. He watched them  charmed for several minutes.

“Beautiful! Very beautiful!” he exclaimed.

He flattened a sheet crease, took the plate and went out the room shutting the door carefully. He put the empty plate on the small table, took a full one and headed for the door of the nearest ward.

 

* * *

 

Pyron had only a few weeks until his retirement. He tried a few times to tot up his balance of his life as a policeman until then, but each time he delayed to carry through, postponing this for the days when he wouldn’t have anything to do. He was more and more rarely called for difficult cases, that overstressed him. A new generation of policemen appeared and put in an appearance at the police station. Their wish to affirm themselves was obvious.

That’s why he got extremely amazed when his boss called him one morning in his office. From his facial expression he realized that something serious had happened.

“We’ve got a strange call. An anonymous person revealed to us that in a store on the Burd street there are – I am quoting- “three live corpses”. I sent a crew to check. They found there – the boss began babbling unable to find his words- something ghastly. But I’d rather not tell you anything. Go on the scene. It’s a case that I can’t abandon over these eggs who have gained ground on us and who are waiting impatiently for us to take leg-bail and fill our places.

On the scene the few policemen who had arrived the first there were taking a lost hinge around. Pyron went near the circle they had formed.

“What have we got here?”

They didn’t answer him, but gave him the road to see better.

First the criminalist thought that corpses of three children wrapped in baby linen were lying on some pasteboards.  But watching much better he saw their faces – faces of grown-ups.

“Some dwarfs? he answered again. Who the hell could take tea with some dwarfs?”

The forensic pathologist broke the oppressing silence.

“They aren’t dwarfs. And they aren’t dead neither.”

“They are neither dwarfs nor dead, the inspector repeated. Then what the hades are they?”

“Some human remains.”

Pyron bent over the bodies wrapped in clothes, as mummies. He scrutinized their face features. There wasn’t anything special to recognize them – the nose and the ears were cut down, the faces were stripped.

“What happened to them?”

The forensic pathologist showed him a transparent bag put down near the three. A plastic bag with bones, from which the meat had been carried off. They were bright white in that dusty environment. Cannon bones, femurs, humerus bones, pharanxes…

“Shit! Pyron said in disgust.

Everyone looked terrified. Somebody went to regurgitate in one corner.

“And do you say they are still alive?”

“They are strongly sedate. They must be transported without delay to the hospital. They might save their neck. Since here there isn’t any corpse, this is not my affair.”

“Might it be the Butcher?”

Nobody answered him.

For the next weeks, the police offered a lot of information to the greedy sensational mass-media. Indeed the three have been amputated with delicacy both arms and legs. Their wounds were perfectly healed.           They have amputated their genitals. On their bodies were other healed scars. A true work of art. They were investigated at RMN, too. The doctors discovered that pieces of their colon, liver, a kidney, the appendix and the spleen were missing. And their mind was completely lost. Nobody could co-operate with them. They were babbling – and their teeth were pulled out – about green aliens, kidnappings and experiments on people on spaceships that were flying in the space like wildfire.

 

* * *

 

Joseph Pyron retired. He had caught the Butcher – his last triumph. A madman. He didn’t know the number of those whom he had killed. Clever lawyers had saved the murderer from the capital punishment. The homicide who horrified the whole town was going to spend the rest of his life in a madhouse, under a strict supervision. He had confessed all about the mutilation of the three fellows found in the store on the Burd street. He had laughed in tears telling how he had decreased their bodies with a surgeon’s handiness. The nickname the journalists had called him got him mad very much.  So he wanted to prove that he could handle the points with delicacy.

The ex-policeman found a new job – to raise homing pigeons. He spent long hours among their noise. But he has never sworn at them. Even if, sometimes, they dropped pigeon droppings on his clothes.

 

He has met Bert Smithon several times. At the supermarket, too. He avoided speaking to him. The big-headed little man had aged and he was hardly pushing the shopping trolley.

But one day he decided to ring his doorbell again. This time he opened immediately as if he was waiting for him. He was wearing a dark red dressing-gown. He had very little hair. And maybe he had gotten shorter.

He invited him in the living-room. He offered him a cup of coffee and opened a bottle of Chivas that was 12 years old. They looked at each other, sunk in the armchairs, a small table between them.

“Have you brought me any news?”

Pyron didn’t answer. He sipped a dram of the expensive and strong drink and then a mouthful of coffee. The silence got more and more oppressive.

Suddenly, the policeman began to talk but not interrelated to the question it had been put to him. He didn’t look into the doctor’s eyes.

“If I were you and if I had lived such a misfortune, I would have caught the criminals throwing my money about, to be brought off the peg in front of me. I would have used all my relations. I would have called the underworld. I would have staked a lot of money. And if somebody brought them to me, I wouldn’t have killed them. But I would have put them to horrible torture. Every day I would have sliced them little by little. And I would have fed each of them with one piece of the others’ flesh, taking care to be alive.  Finally I would have told them what they had eaten and had freed them.

He drank a sip of coffee.

“Unfortunately nobody found them. I would be glad to see them getting the chair. I would have been glad to witness. I also think that you would have been comforted watching them struggling in those moments.

The surgeon threw a plain glance to him and said nothing. He only stretched his hand for his glass. The policeman went on talking in a tired voice.

“I was given to see many things in my life. A beastly job, that sometimes leads you to despair. You deal with too much blood, too many corpses and with too many mysteries to solve. Sometimes you bring your eggs – I left behind unsolved files, that add at others tens and hundreds, inherited from those before me. The mass killers are the most difficult to understand.  Often it’s impossible to explain what these people have in their mind when they kill unknown people. The medicine tries to decipher their behavior. The strangest are those who ascribe themselves to the murder of some people whom they hadn’t even killed. Maybe they confess other people’s crimes, they found from the newspapers or from TV about, because they want to increase their record. It’s a competition between the mass killers, too.

He kept silence for a while, keeping a careful watch on a butterfly that had flown in through the open window. Only after he saw it flying out the room, he gathered up the threads of the story.

“I have retired. I’m raising homing pigeons. White, brown, partly-coloured…Their universe is different than ours.  It has clearer and more worthy rules according to nature we have appeared. It is true that they also come to handgrips for some seeds or when it’s time to breed. But they are so beautiful and friendly to those who want their good…Owing to them I have had many relations. The pigeon lovers belong to a select club. I’m sorry I haven’t been concerned with them since my youth. I’m also sorry I was a policeman.

For one hour he told him about the customs of these special birds – how they fall in love to each other, how they lay eggs and hatch them, how they teach their little ones to fly, how they defend themselves from the grasping hawks, what height and what speed they fly, how they carry the mail from one place to another, how useful they were in the past when the news travelled slower.

“Many battles have been won with their help. You only wrote what kind of troops you needed or where the enemy was, you affixed with a ring the message of help to the pigeon’s leg, let him fly and he flew to the wanted destination. The people from there read the notice and took prompt action.”

The doctor listened to him as he was dreaming.

Pyron almost had crushed the bottle with the doctor when he got up to say good-bye. On the doorstep he turned back and he beat about the bush:

“You aren’t doing so much shopping. Before, the trolley you had pushed was full.”

The doctor watched him with the same lifeless glance.

Pyron got into the car without waiting for a reaction from the other and drove slowly to his house, where his pigeons were waiting to be fed by him. In the next years he lived, no unknown flying object flew above the town.

 

 

Translated by Ramona Udrea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GEORGE ARION – a Romanian crime writer. He is also a poet, essayist, librettist and journalist. He is the Chairman of the Flacăra Publications, Chairman of the « Flacăra Prizes » foundation and Chairman of the Romanian Crime Writers’ Club. His literary debut came in 1966 with the publishing of a collection of poems. But it is in 1983 that his novel-writing carrier really starts, with the publishing of Attack in the Library. Thanks to his first novel, George Arion quickly became known as the initiator of a renewal of the Romanian crime novel. He effectively gave a new impulse to the genre by having a refreshing foundation. He raised the literary standards and moved them away from their mostly propagandist use at the time. George Arion stands out through an alert rhythm, short phrases, the use of colored language by his characters, a good dose of humour and an extraordinary irony, which are still his trademark. One can recognise the influences of Raymond Chandler, Boileau-Narcejac, San Antonio.

 

Critical reviews

« Thanks to George Arion we finally have a true and native crime novel. » – Ov. S. Crohmălniceanu, Literary Romania (România Literară), 1984.

 

« I don’t think there is another character in our contemporary literature capable of competing with Andrei Mladin in popularity. Built seemingly just for fun, this tall and suave man has succeeded… in conquering the hearts of the most varied groups of readers (and, especially, female readers), amounting to actual fights between children and parents, brother and sister, husband and wife, lover and sweetheart on the subject of who has the right to read the book first. » Tudorel Urian, Student Life (Viața Studențească), 28 January 1987.

 

« Arion’s crime novels stand out through an alert style, through humour and through the picturesque language of his characters. » Mircea Zagi, Marian Papahagi, Aurel Sasu, The Dictionary of Romanian Writers (Dicționarul Scriitorilor Români), 1995.

 

« George Arion is a virtuoso of crime writing. » Dumitru Micu, The History of Romanian Literature from Folklore to Post-Modernism (Istoria literaturii române de la creația populară la post-modernism), 2000.

 

Mystery & Thriller novels

Attack in the Library (Atac în bibliotecă), 1983.

 

The Professional. Moving Target (Profesionistul. Țintă în mișcare), 1985.

 

Stunt (Trucaj), 1986.

 

Choosing sides (Pe ce picior dansați?), 1990.

 

Barintown Murders (Crimele din Barintown), 1995.

 

Endless Yesterday (Nesfârșita zi de ieri), reedited as The King in Check (Șah la rege) in 2008.

 

The Chameleon (novel)|The Chameleon (Cameleonul), 2001.

 

The Investigations of a Lone Detective (Anchetele unui detectiv singur), 2003.

 

Spies in the Heat (Spioni în arșiță), 2003.

 

The Demon of Colga (Necuratul din Colga), 2004.

 

Sophisticated Murders (Crime sofisticate), 2009.

 

The Castle of the Lunatics (Fortăreața nebunilor), 2011.

 

Suffocation (Sufocare), 2012.

 

In 1996, the complete Andrei Mladin collection was published with the title The Reluctant Detective (Detectiv fără voie), reedited in 2008 by Crime Scene Publishing.

 

In 2011, Attack in the Library was published in English by Profusion Crime in London.

 

Poetry

The Children Left Alone (Copiii lăsați singuri), 1979.

 

Memories from the Abandoned Citadel (Amintiri din cetatea nimănui), 1980.

 

The Crossing (Traversarea), 1997.

 

Look who isn’t talking (Uite cine nu vorbește), poetry for children, 1997.

 

Literary criticism

Alexandru Philippide or the Drama of Uniqueness (Alexandru Philippide sau drama unicității), 1981.

 

Starting from 2006, George Arion is also responsible for a section entirely devoted to crime novels in the Sunday edition of Jurnalul Național.

 

Journalistic works

Interviews (Interviuri), 1979.

 

Interviews 2 (Interviuri II), 1982.

 

The Dialogue Goes On (Dialogul continuă), 1988.

 

Life Under the President of a Kingdom (Viața sub un președinte de regat), 1997.

 

A History of the Contemporary Romanian Society in Interviews (1975-1999) (O istorie a societății românești contemporane în interviuri (1975-1999)), 1999.

 

Silence! The Corrupt are Working for Us (Liniște! Corupții lucrează pentru noi), 2003.

 

The Most Beautiful 100 Interviews (Cele mai frumoase 100 de interviuri), 2011.

 

Scripts

Enigmas are Explained at Dawn (Enigmele se explică în zori), 1989.

 

Attack in the Library (Atac în bibliotecă), 1992.

The Reluctant Detective (Detectiv fără voie), television series, 2001.

 

Theatre and Opera

Autograph (Autograf): dramatic monologue, 150 performances at the Bucharest National Theatre.

 

Crime Scene (Scena crimei): crime tragicomedy, broadcast on a Romanian public radio station (Radio România Actualități) in 2008. On stage premiere at the „Tudor Vianu” theatre in Giurgiu.

 

In the Labyrinth (În labirint): opera, writing of the libretto – music by Liana Alexandra. On stage at the Timișoara Opera House in 1987.

 

Memories from the Apple-tree Garden (Amintiri din livada cu meri) – crime tragicomedy, broadcast on a Romanian public radio station (Radio România Actualități) in 2011.

 

The Mystery of a Blizzard Night (Misterul unei nopți cu viscol) – Familia magazine, n° 11-12, 2012.

 

Lyrics

George Arion has written the lyrics for Eugen Cristea’s album called The Soldier Fallen for Love (Soldat căzut din iubire) in 2009.

 

Prizes

The Romanian Writers’ Union prize three times: 1985, 1995, 1999.

 

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