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.
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"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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Nele Neuhaus is originally from Münster, Germany, but she and her family moved to the Taunus region of Hesse when she was a child. She became interested in books at an early age, and began to write her first stories. After secondary school she began studying law, German language and literature, and history, and worked for an advertising agency when she wasn't competing as a show jumper. Nele Neuhaus self-published before being discovered by Ullstein Verlag in 2008.
Nele's murder mysteries featuring the detective duo Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein have created an enthusiastic fan base and made the author one of Germany's most widely read crime writers. The TV films inspired by her Taunus murder mysteries have been seen by millions. A keen horsewoman, she also ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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