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Excellent German murder mystery

  • Nov 27, 2012
This is an extremely well written and exciting book about two detectives in Germany who are called to the scene of what appears to be a possible murder attempt. Their investigation grows into a much more complicated thing, when there appears to be a connection to two murders of young girls ten years in the past, for which a young man was convicted and sent to prison, even though the bodies were never found. When the man returns to his home town at the conclusion of his sentence, it becomes obvious that his fellow townspeople don't want him there, but why?

Everyone in town appears to have their own particular reasons for wanting this fellow to leave, some for more sinister reasons than others. The investigation begins to uncover the deep dark secrets of the townsfolk, and the plot becomes very swift. Who is trustworthy and who is not? That's for the detectives, and the young man, to discover before more murder and mayhem occur.

It's a fast paced book and the finger of suspicion appears to point at several different people at various times. I don't want to reveal more for that would spoil the reading for others. Suffice it to say that I understand that this is to be the beginning of a new series (although some passages in the book tend to make me believe that there was at least one prior book) and I'm looking forward to the next one.

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review by . January 08, 2013
In "Snow White Must Die," Nele Neuhaus writes a crime story/police procedural that because of a highly populated cast of characters living either in Berlin or the rural and insular village of Altenhain combined with the fact that they all sport difficult sounding names seems a prime candidate to vie for the "Who is Going to Fill the Shoes of Stieg Larsson?" category of gritty thrillers. Unfortunately Neuhaus's novel does not quite fit the bill--neither in terms of actual storyline nor in giving …
About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #89
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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"...[an] emotional page turner, fueled by unexpected plot twists."--Kirkus Reviews
"German author Neuhaus makes her U.S. debut with this impressive multidimensional police procedural, which has already been published in 15 countries with more than three million copies in print. Convicted on circumstantial evidence of murdering two vanished 17-year-old girls, 30-year-old Tobias Sartorius returns home to Altenhain, a village near Frankfurt, after serving his 10-year sentence, to find his parents divorced and their lives as hopeless as his has become. The townspeople maintain a mafia-like code of silence to protect terrible betrayals past and present, even as the discovery of the skeletal remains of one of the missing girls leads Det. Insp. Pia Kirchhoff and Det. Sgt. Oliver von Bodenstein to suspect Tobias was innocent. Meanwhile, the two police officers get caught up in personal crises that realistically counterpoint the violence that greets Tobias's attempts to re-establish his life, when yet another girl goes missing and masked villagers nearly kill him. Again and again, Neuhaus inserts the old Grimm fairy tale refrain—"White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony"—that describes Snow White, the role of one of the original missing girls in a high school play 10 years earlier, to underscore the grimmest of human emotions: white for icily plotted revenge, red for raging jealousy, black for homicidal madness.--Publishers Weekly (starred
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