On a rainy November day police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: A woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer.
On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace. In a trial based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius, Rita Cramer's son, was sentenced to ten years in prison. Bodenstein and Kirchhoff discover that Tobias, after serving his sentence, has now returned to his home town. Did the attack on his mother have something to do with his return?
In the village, Pia and Oliver encounter a wall of silence. When another young girl disappears, the events of the past seem to be repeating themselves in a disastrous manner. The investigation turns into a race against time, because for the villagers it is soon clear who the perpetrator is - and this time they are determined to take matters into their own hands.
An atmospheric, character-driven and suspenseful mystery set in a small town that could be anywhere, dealing with issues of gossip, power, and keeping up appearances.
"Starred Review. 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
"An addictively engaging mystery filled with suspects, confusion, love, and fear. Sure to intrigue and satisfy mystery fans, especially those who love international crime procedurals." - Library Journal
"This emotional page turner, fueled by unexpected plot twists, marks the American debut of Germany's best-selling suspense writer, whose targets include the bourgeois, the overly solicitous and the rationalizations that lead to tragedy." - Kirkus
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Rated of 5
Great book and fast read!
I thought this was a great book and fast read, once I got past all the German names. Some of it I guessed early on, but many things surprised me towards the end. I'm not a big mystery reader, but selected this book for my book club after I read about it in a magazine review.
I understand she has written several other mysteries with the same police tag team. Looking forward to seeing them translated into English!
Nele Neuhaus is one of the most widely read German mystery writers. More than two million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives near Frankfurt, Germany.
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