This is one of those instances where I wish Audible allowed reviewers half stars. This one really deserved 2 ½. (I reserve five stars for absolutely-loved; four for really-liked; three for OK; and 1 for did-not-finish…Leaving 2 stars to cover both finished-but-hated-it and finished-but-did-not-really-like-it. The two are really quite different and this one is more of the later.)
The plot is unbelievable. It starts with the accidental discovery of a skeleton in a construction site. The body, of course (you kind of expect it, so I don’t think this is a terrible spoiler), happens to be one of two girls murdered 11 years earlier. Coincidentally (there are way too many of these coincidences throughout the book), the guy who was convicted of the murders has just been released from prison after serving a ten-year sentence. There is a traffic accident involving his mother and the two bumbling investigators go to his village to investigate.
The investigators are apparently the stars of the series (this is the first to be translated, but not the first in the series). Quite frankly, I am shocked they have a following. They are absolutely incompetent as “sleuths.” At one point, the author writes: “The pieces of the puzzle were falling in place as if by themselves.” And that is precisely what happens. It seems that everyone in the village is guilty of something or another and everyone confesses or gets discovered purely by chance. There is one instance, I kid you not, where the suspect disappears and the two "investigators" say to each other (I paraphrase): “I thought you were taking him to the station!” “What? I thought you were!”
There are also some things that are never fully explained. (Why one character hid a will that would have made his family rich, for example.)
I found most of the characters, even the protagonist, unlikeable. Our "hero" went to prison after getting so drunk eleven years earlier that he simply could not remember what happened during an entire night. And yet, mere days after getting out of prison, he proceeds to do the exact same thing! If ten years in prison for a crime you don’t remember committing don’t cure you of binge drinking, what will?
I didn't really hate the novel but it is, at best, mediocre. Like I said, two-and-half stars: Finished it but did not really like it.
I Luv Audible!!
Initially I was skeptical about listening to this book based on the reviews some listeners wrote. But alas! they are wrong! I truly enjoyed the book. It had enough suspense to keep you hooked. The plot was witty and when you thought you had figured out the guilty parties wham! you are wrong and the twist and turns continue. Overall a good listen
Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.
Too many story lines are not interesting if they don't tie together into one coherent story. I almost stopped listening halfway through when it became obvious the writer was reaching for intricate and coming up only with ridiculous and irrelevant.
The narration was awful, making this bad book even worse with exaggerated emotions and plodding tones.
I want my credit back, as for my time I've no one to blame but myself, I should have stopped listening.
I absolutely loved this novel by Nele Neuhaus, which was as much a character study of the worst of small town life in Germany as it was a mystery story. Lots of engaging characters and interesting plot twists combined with good writing and atmospheric descriptions of the scenery and homes. I think it's not much of a spoiler to say that you know from the beginning that Tobias must have been framed, but listening to it all unravel kept me hooked to the very last minute of the highly satisfying conclusion. I grew up in Germany and can say that the scenes and descriptions are very authentic. The translation was well done and the narration was outstanding. Highly recommended!
Enjoyed the roller coaster of "who did it", you think you have it figured out and then a new twist appears. I struggled with trying to keep the characters separated, but this was due to not being familiar with German names. I would have to pause to think, "okay, which character is this". Was a slow start, but the story picked up speed and then I wanted to keep listening so I could find out the newest twist. Robert Fass was a great narrator and did well with keeping the characters separated. I found him very easy to listen to, he transitioned from one character to the other seamlessly.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I was unaware that this was a book in a series until writing the review, but lacking that knowledge and the previous stories did not distract from the main story of the book, although now I understand why some of the details of the main characters seemed to be missing.
The story is slow to start and it isn't until more than half way through the book that it becomes compelling. The quantity of characters also made the story hard to follow, remember who was who, how they were connected, etc.
All in all, it was ok, but I wasn't blown away as other reviewers have been. I probably won't pick up the rest of the series.
Excellent listen, constantly pointed to new person of interest. And lots of bitter endings.
It has it all love, hate, destruction, nervous anticipation and death. Well written few things could have been left out but not much! (Was written in German and translated to English )
It's easy to get lost by trying to keep the characters straight while listening to a very nasal narrator. I almost gave up because the narrator was honestly grating. Why listen to a book where you can't take the narration and don't remember who is who doing what from chapter to chapter?
BUT...Fass's performance gets very good (maybe he had a cold in the beginning on top of his natural nasal tone?) and the story is so layered, and believably so, that it becomes an overall exceptional listen.
Best since "girl with the dragon tattoo".
Entire story was both dramatic and believable -- a combination rarely achieved in mystery novels. Pieces of the puzzle got solved throughout the book which was satisfying while continuing to keep the mystery going. The side stories were so interesting I didn't feel frustrated that there were digressions from the main mystery as I so often do.
He made the story come alive without being so full of emotion that the listener felt distracted.
The book was riddled with them.
Although the book was long and completely satisfying in it's ending I didn't want it to stop. I look forward to her next book.
Yes, there was good character development; it kept me guessing how it would end the entie time.
yes, it was well written.