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.
Although you can't judge a book by its cover, you can occasionally choose one by its title. I simply couldn't pass this one up (kind of like choosing wine because of the label) and was quite pleased. A very well-crafted story. Enjoyable characters, a plot with intriguing twists, and all the red herrings are tied up by the end.
I admit that I am not all the way through this one, but I have some strong thoughts on it already. The narrator is fine, even excellent. Nothing really to comment on there. The writing is pretty good and almost sells the story, but I do not think it quite does, and the story seems absurd on many levels. Maybe not enough to discourage me from listening to another one in the series when translated.
As others have commented, the story seems endless with a fantastic number of subplots some of which go nowhere. Our detective protagonists do seem extremely ineffectual at actually solving anything. I would hope that earlier books in the series would add interest and depth to them. There are few, if any, attractive characters in the book, and the entire village seems evil, which is not credible. Too much coincidence, although some of it might be well-disguised. Too many things generally unbelieveable. Hope this is not a spoiler, but the official and public reaction to someone pitching a human being off an overpass onto a busy "super highway" to the expected results seems vastly understated. Lots of violence that seems to go relatively unreacted to.
Maybe all of rural Germany is like that. I doubt it. Actually, anything official German seems amazingly ineffectual at doing anything.
Characters evil and relatively good alike do not seem all that credible.
All of that said, it seems kind of hard to put down. One still wants to know what happens.
I love the Scandanavian detective books. Somehow the characters in them seem very credible and deep. I thought this would be more like those. Instead, I guess this one remind me more of the Tana French books. Not bad, but not really credible, and kind of unsatisfying.
Snow White Must Die is about a man, Tobias, who is released from prison after 10 years for the murder/disappearance of two girls when he was in his late teens. Coming back into town he finds that the whole town turned not only on him but his family, too. His parents struggle to live in town and be supportive of their son. The people in town still harbor resentment and take it out on the entire family through vigilante acts.
Then the bodies of the girls are discovered and another girl in town goes missing. Again, all eyes start to focus on Tobias as he tries to prove his innocence to the town on the past murders and the new crim that has happened.
This audiobook started out really good, but the overall plot got too heavy. There were too any side stories and characters and at what point I just had to accept the fact that I had completely missed the issue between two characters and why it was important to the overall narrative. This is definitely not a book you can listen to when multitasking and be able to keep track of all the details.
Keep it light, keep it bright!
I listened to this and I liked it a lot. Unusual to have a book set in present-day Germany about something unrelated to WWII/Holocaust/Cold War.
Overrated and oversold by the blurbs. Awkward translation. Melodramatic reading. Really a waste of money.
Hire a better translator.
I am a wife of 30 years, mother of 4 wonderful grown children and a retired teacher....one of my new goals as I turn 50 this year is to become an author! I listen to one story on audible a week I am an addict!
Listening to this book was time well spent in that it was written in a different way than any other book i have ever read that made it interesting....
Not quite sure....
It kept my interest although it is a bit long!
I could listen to it from my Kindle. This was a very long book (15 hours) so I didn't listen to it in one sitting. At first, there seemed to be so many characters that I thought I would never get my mind wrapped around them. I was soon so engrossed in the story that I felt like I was there and knew them personally.
When the water was raising on two of the characters and hope was running out. The suspense was switching back and forth between several of the characters. If this had been paper, I would have peeked to the end to see who lived and who died.
There was quite a bit of description - even of the restaurants - that helped me create a picture of a small German town.
I have excellent hearing for volume but sometimes have difficulty with accents. I had problems understanding the German accent. Not sure if the reader was German or the accent was to enhance the experience of the story that takes place in Germany. I loved the book in spite of this.
Brooklyn dog owner and detective story fan. I also enjoy memoirs, short stories and literary fiction.
As a fan of foreign detective stories, how could I pass up one set on the edges of the Black Forrest? Although this is the first Bodenstein & Kirchhoff translated into English, it's actually the 4th book in the series, and you can tell these characters have history together.
from the reviews, some liked this, but I cannot imagine who they are
too many problems to address with a single sentence
they are all weak
When I listen to a book (or watch TV) with my wife, I often make comments about the story, usually in the negative about some inconsistency, error or unbelievable coincidence. I know this drives her crazy, and we usually listen to books that I recommend (she has her books for when she is alone) after a discussion of the expected content and reviews. We like mysteries and Snow White Must Die was such a great title, coupled with good reviews (which I should have read in more detail) seemed like a sure thing.
And at about 12 hours, when it seemed to be winding up, I had hardly made any comments, and most of those were attributable to the translation regarding grammar and the wonderment as to how certain phrases/words like “in cahoots” came to be the preferred meaning from German. At that point, I could have given it 3 stars across the board but would not have put the author on my ‘read’ list.
But it did not end there; it went on for another 4 hours, and as it went on the plot became ever more convoluted and unbelievable. Interminable is the best one-word description. The dialog and character actions do not ring true or in-character, the moralizing is irritating as are the incidents of ‘product placement’, but the biggest problem for me was the use of ‘unlocked doors’. I use the unlocked door as code for a point where the author must solve a particular problem but cannot do it logically so the characters find a particular door conveniently unlocked or open at a critical point so the story can proceed. This is irritating but not uncommon and usually occurs only 1-2 times/story.
In Snow White there are dozens of unlocked doors; like the sister who shows up after 14 years with no motivation at a critical point to unravel a particular question, a locksmith that is available on short notice to help solve a tense problem that has been building for over a week and then (no kidding) a key that just happens to be left in the lock in the final door that leads to the rescue. I’m sure I extended the actual listening by a significant amount by stopping every couple of minutes to comment, snort or roll my eyes at the preposterous story line. I could go into greater detail but do not want to waste any more time on Snow White. My main motivation for writing the review is the great listener guarantee. Even though no reason is required to exchange the book, I feel obliged to audible.com to comment.
In fairness, other than the convoluted plot, my wife did not find the story particularly objectionable. My comments were probably more irritating than the defects noted (even after I pointed them out). When I get to the end of a story that I give 1-2 stars, I go back and read the reviews to see if my objections are singular. Usually they are not, and when the reviews are detailed (not just describing spelling errors), they are better-written than the story.
I would recommend this audiobook because it was entertaining and relatively fast paced.
The plot had a few too many coincidences but if you didn't think too hard it was good.
Report Inappropriate Content