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.
©2010 Nele Neuhaus (P)2012 AudioGO, Ltd.
Character-driven, and suspense novels are for me. Not above a good beach read, but keep cheesy romances or poorly written books away.
No. I found myself wishing the book would JUST end. It was interminable. When the book got to nearing the end of the first part, at that point I wasn't able to conceive how it would continue another 7 or so hours. Unlikeable characters, truly ridiculous story. Just when the author makes one think it's solved, he throws in another wrench and I found myself saying, "Just stop." I can suspend some disbelief, but this book went way beyond that. Semi-SPOILER: So really, an entire town is corrupt and evil? No one in the town has a conscience or moral compass? And is the reader really supposed to believe that the crimes were all forgotten and that the numerous people involved all kept these secrets for 11 years?
"14" by Peter Clines
He really was wonderful and if it hadn't been for him I wouldn't have finished it at all.
Not read/listen to, another book by this author.
I guess just this is a case of "to each his own." Obviously many, many people enjoyed this book, but I'm not one of them. I enjoy Michael Connelly, Lee Child (not A Wanted Man), John Connolly, Don Winslow, Lincoln Child and John Sanford - maybe if you're reading this and you love those authors too, you will feel the same about this book as I do.
I'll admit that I was really pulled in by the title and a couple of 5 star reviews. I thought "they loved it--I probably will too." But, no, try as I wanted - I barely liked it.
Maybe the problem was the translation, as this is by a German author. Or maybe the narrator, who I found to be very weak overall. I want to give an honest and fair review, so here goes:
The main character, Tobias, is framed for murder and imprisoned for 10 years. Upon his release, he returns to his home town, where almost everyone hates him, and the townsfolk have kind of taken out their anger at his family. Tobias is determined to stay put and help rebuild his life-- but someone isn't happy about it.
The big question is--who framed him and who is trying to get him to leave? There are so many suspects and so many developing story lines, that nothing ever really takes hold. The author throws new twists and turns into each and every sub-plot - it makes it impossible to really care about any of the characters- even the one's who were murdered.
I like to try and figure out "who done it" as I read along in a mystery novel. This one, however, doesn't give the reader any real information to try and develop an answer. Toward the end, new information is brought up which the reader never could have guessed at--so I felt like it was unfair. If you have ever read a mystery where there is suspect 1,2, and 3 all along, and then at the end it is solved with suspect 4--you know what I mean.
The book did have a storyline with a lot of potential--I just felt the author missed an opportunity to make it a real thriller.
Probably not. The translation from German to English included an odd combination of German proper names mixed with American slang (e.g. repeatedly referring to prison as "the joint"). This was somewhat annoying, and hurt the flow of the narration. The book itself was surprisingly boring. I liked the concept, but too predictable in many spots.
No great surprise.
Pace of story was plodding, so yes, the narration matched the pace.
You could pick worse...some comfortable hallmarks of an entertaining mystery: nice atmospheric setting, good diverse collection of townsfolk (Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Prof. Plum, Norman Bates...), plenty of motives and secrets, and a likable, handsome, much maligned central character, Tobias...the only character you know is innocent. After a slightly slow beginning, the story builds a bit, but ultimately breaks off into too many irrelevant splinter stories to gain forward momentum; I would get one subplot straight and here would come another, than another, and another--like herding cats. I wouldn't say this is a winner, nor a loser--more of a strong stand in the middle of the moving herd. (And it's a read without too much violence or strong language.)
In fairness ...
Neuhaus is a German writer known for her crime novels. This version of Snow White Must Die is translated into English from the author's native German language, and is the 4th of 6 books in the *Bodenstein/Kirchoff series* (a He and She team of police inspectors). So, we have a translated book, lifted out of choronlogical order. I'm no polyglot, only roughly bilingual, but I have read a few books in both the original language and the translated version, and it's true--sometimes things are lost in translation. I probably will read the next translated book in this series--with the hope that the publishers didn't lift this volume (SWMD) out of order because it was the strongest of the six.
For starters how did the main character get convicted when they never found the bodies of the two teenage girls he supposedly killed? Not to mention no one had any idea where these hypothetical murders occurred. I realize that this was set in Germany but I still couldn't get past the lack of evidence that put him away for two years to set up this entire story. Without a body isn't difficult to prove somebody is no longer alive? Let alone that they were murdered.
Beyond that it never got a whole lot better. There were a lot of twists but they never felt clever because it wasn't believable on so many different levels.
After all the awards and write-ups I thought this was going to be very good -- it wasn't. Very slow paced and dull. Too many people, too much detail. I kept wishing a good editor would red line most of it. Don't waste your time or money on this.
Great pysch thriller! Poor Toby's been dealt a bad hand, but when he gets out of prison for two murders he doesn't remember committing, he expects to be able to start anew. Sorry to say, that's not going to happen...not when another girl ends up dead in this tiny town in Germany, and everyone assumes he's the guilty party. Small town thinking and small town secrets play large in this thriller, and you really can't wait to get to the end. I love Robert Fass' narration, and he does a great job on this police procedural. I don't want to say more and spoil it for anyone . . . !
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
I knew nothing about this book before.. but when i saw this awesome title I couldn't resist.
I read couple of mystery books before and most of them were a bit predictable.. Not this one, every action went completely different than what I have expected, and I loved the book for that.
During the whole book I was one my toes waiting to know what happened and what will happen, rarely you get such a feeling and anticipation while reading some of the current mystery books here and there.
I wish the book was a bit longer, and I hope that her earlier 3 books will be available soon here in audible, as they were a great success too.
You wont regret reading this book.
Yes. The variety of characters and motivations for their individual actions kept you guessing.
Tobias - You sympathized with him from the beginning knowing he was wrongfully accused, yet unable to prove it due to his intoxication.
I love books!
First time author, Nele Neuhaus, a German crime writer. I read somewhere that Stieg Larsson with his "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" series started the Scandnavian rush of crime writers that are becming so popular in the US. That might be the case as I'm reading authors from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and now Germany and I've enjoyed them all. I would include Britain in this group except that, in my opinion, the British invasion of all aspects of our American lives started over 200 years ago so they don't count. But, it seems American publishers are rushing to Europe to discover the best authors, finding good translators for them, and in the case of we that listen to them finding good narrators as well. I didn't really know what to expect with this author. The book was set around Frankfurt so somewhat familiar. In the beginning when the story began to unfold seemed pretty obvious what had happened and who had done it and that's was the case. But then the author begins peeling back the layers of the crime, time after time, where in the end she wrote a really engrossing story that kept my interest, kept me thinking about it when I wasn't reading wondering what was going to happen. The title was pretty catchy as well. I enjoyed it and will look forward to the next one in the series.
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