Metzner’s gripping debut novel explores themes of crime, policing, security, nuclear energy and the environment, all familiar from the author’s own investigative journalism.
Jonas Mondrian, a Hamburg-based reporter, is tasked with researching the activities of a terrorist group, the Green Army Faction, who have been linked to a number of violent acts that highlight their opposition to environmental policy. Mondrian makes contact with the group, accompanying them on a protest against GM crops. He is captivated by their leader, known as Gypsy, and later sleeps with her, wondering at the same time if she is a murderer. Members of the group start to be arrested and taken into custody, but Gypsy remains at large. Mondrian discusses with her the evidence he has uncovered against the group. The novel’s thrilling climax takes place in Hamburg’s container port, when Mondrian realises that the federal Ministry of the Interior is behind the crimes and is planning a further bomb attack.
Green Army Faction is a brutally contemporary novel which draws on present-day concerns such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the future of atomic energy in Europe and the transport of nuclear waste. Metzner builds suspense wonderfully, and the conclusion comes as a truly shocking surprise.