“Writer and philosopher Stelian Țurlea based his crime fiction ‘Greuceanu’ on a well-known Romanian fairytale, in which the eponymous hero battles with a number of Zmei [ogres], to bring back to the skies the sun which they had stolen. The novel transposes the fairytale to the reality of a provincial town which has been taken over by gangsters, now the town's masters. Greuceanu is a young policeman, at the bottom of the ladder. By chance, he gets rid of one of the feared gangsters, whose brothers and their wives come after him.
With the unerring instinct of a popular children’s author, Țurlea locates, in Greuceanu, one of the major Pan-European issues in contemporary times, the problem of organised crime. Țurlea’s villains are not moustachioed banditos. Instead they are the brothers and sisters of gangsters in every European city centre, and playing as he does with the characters of the town, he explores a number of insights into the role of organised crime in post-Accession civic life.”
(Mike Phillips, CWA Silver Dagger winner and author of Rîmaru - Butcher of Bucharest)
Greuceanu - Novel with a Policeman is Stelian Țurlea’s first novel published in English. Published originally in “Romanian as GREUCEANU – roman (cu un) polițist” (Crime Scene Publishing, 2010).
ISBN-13: 978-0956867667; ISBN-10: 0956867669
Mike Ripley about ‘Greuceanu-Novel With A Policeman
’ in Shotsmag:
“Until recently my knowledge of Romania was limited to the time when under Imperial Rome it was known as Felix Dacia – or ‘Happy Dacia’, though I suspect the epithet ‘happy’ applied more to the Roman rulers than the local population.
However, I think I have more than trebled my understanding of modern Romania thanks to a fairy tale in the form of a crime novel. In fact Greuceanu-Novel With A Policeman, now smoothly translated and published here by Profusion Gold, is author Stelian Turlea’s re-working of a classic Romanian fairy tale, transposing the story of ogres and damsels-in-distress to a small provincial town in the grip of diamond-smuggling gangsters.
As in all the best fairy tales, the brave hero (in this case a humble policeman rather than a Prince Charming) defeats the baddies and gets the girl and although it’s a happy ending, Stelian Turlea doesn’t pull his punches when it comes to describing the grim side of a modern Romania still suffering a hangover from a ruthless socialist dictatorship and now enjoying the benefits of capitalist organised crime.
I am sure I will have missed most of the direct analogies to present-day Romanian politics and culture, but the editors wisely provide some fascinating footnotes, from which I learned a lot, including a few useful words in Romanian. I will make a point the next the subject of the Ottoman Empire crops up in polite conversation to slip in the word ‘sictir’ (from the Turkish ‘sikdir’) just to see what reaction I get.”
PROFUSION GOLD SERIES – Fiction, 2014-2015
Stelian Țurlea - GREUCEANU – Novel with a Policeman
Liviu Antonesei - The Innocent and Collateral Victims of a Bloody War with Russia
Augustin Buzura - Report on the State of Loneliness
Series Editor: Mike Phillips
Published by Profusion International Creative Consultancy