The thrilling next book in the internationally best-selling series that began with Snow White Must Die
On a hot June day the body of a 16-year-old girl washes up on a river bank outside of Frankfurt. She has been brutally murdered, but no one comes forward with any information as to her identity. Even weeks later, the local police have not been able to identify her. Then a new case comes in: a popular television reporter is attacked, raped, and locked in the trunk of her own car. She survives - barely - and is able to supply certain hints to the police having to do with her recent investigations into a child welfare organization and the potential uncovering of a child pornography ring with members from the highest echelon of society.
As the two cases collide, Inspectors Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein dig deep into the past and underneath the veneer of bourgeois society to come up against a terrible secret that is about to impact their personal lives as well. In Nele Neuhaus' second US publication of her enormously popular series, tensions run high, and a complex and unpredictable plot propels her characters forward at breakneck speed.
©2014 Nele Neuhaus (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
"Neuhaus’s sequel to Snow White Must Die demonstrates the author’s maturing skills...this nuanced effort suggests why the author is a bestseller in her native Germany." (Publishers Weekly)
"[T]his thriller works! Fans of Jo Nesbö’s gritty thrillers will enjoy the intricacies of the plot." (Library Journal)
The Atlantic ocean seems to have gotten a little smaller since the success of Larsson's Dragon Tattoo series. Foreign modern crime thrillers have gained momentum, the translations giving us access to authors like Nesbo, Vargas, Lemaitre, Indridason, Mankell, et al. When Nele Neuhaus' Snow White Must Die appeared in book stores I had high hopes, largely based on high praise and a catchy title (I'm not chic enough to claim, *I simply adore European novels*) . . . turned out to be more a tumble to the ground than an all out splatt. Regrettably, not enough of a nose-dive to keep me from reaching out again to this German author.
This is gritty, brutal, and for the hard-gutted. (Sounds fun, no?) Subject matter aside (I dealt with much worse cases of abuse in my profession, and am sadly too familiar with the subject), the book was tough for me to get through because of a disconnect that went beyond a language barrier. Authors that have previously tackled such heinous topics successfully have wisely layered a foundation for contained depravity as the story evolves, a kind of etiology that establishes a psychological contract between the author and reader. I now understand the importance of that structure, that 'leash to incredulity' and shock -- without that understanding, this kind of crime, especially dealing with children, lacks the human dimension and becomes perverse sensationalism. The best authors in this genre are able to make atrocities as palatable as possible because of talent/great writing. Neuhaus delivers a raw story that moves along at a good clip, but she lacks the ability to make it palatable.
Fans of connect-the-dots police procedurals (German style CSI: Special Victims Unit) -- a headline grabbing shock-crime, the interaction between the detectives as they work through the mystery, the big blow-out ending -- should be entertained and won't regret the purchase. [Before my review turns you away from this choice, you might want to look over member's positive reviews on Snow White Must Die.] For my tastes, based on this book and SWMD, Nelehaus is certainly twisted, but dwells too much in the realm of preconceptions, clichés and debauched cabals instead of being twistedly original and absorbing. There is no explosive upset to the *people aren't always whom they seem* plotting; the characters are likeable enough, but as compelling as Zweiback toast; and the big explosive secrets more a pop than a bang -- all reasons I subtract stars. Perhaps something is lost in the translation. It was zippity, but no doo-dah, but that's another tale. As far as Neuhaus' grim versions of fairy tales to come...I'll live happily ever after without another.
I love books!
This is my second Neuhaus and I enjoyed them both. In this one, the author was slow in the beginning, seemingly laying the groundwork for the eventual crime. I read in researching her that in her first book she edited out 400 pages so this must be a trend. I've also noticed that several of the northern European authors I've listened to seem to plod along setting the stage for the crime. Maybe it's a cultural thing? But when the author did get to the crime the story did get going and became a page turner. This book, like other European crime stories I've listened to, has a real dark side. I would expect that as Neuhaus gains experience she will become more succinct in her storytelling. The translation from German to English was pretty good as well and I liked the narrator.
Tell us about yourself! Aspiring writer, quasi-voracious writer, in the process of knitting a sweater and taking a clas at my alma mater in ancestory.
Long drawn out plot that could have been a short story. Not worth the effort, money or time!
The tiresome over= explanations.
Yes, he's a very good narrator but he needs to work with a quality product.
Where to begin? None of them are memorable so. . .
Perhaps the plot was lost in translation.
No. More like Pride and Prejudice than justice and Jo Nesbo.
Yes. Unusual voices for the characters
Most of the slow scenes describing ineffective characters at parties.
Won't get fooled again
Better editing, tightened plot
Not anywhere as good as Snow White Must Die. Just terrible plotting, banal dialogue, and narrative that didn't advance the story
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