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.
Quick summary: 10 year old murder(s) events are revived when the convicted killer returns to his home town and residents who are not happy to see him. The story is very character driven, and the first few chapters had so many characters I confess I started listing them to keep track! The plot twists and turns and it was great fun trying to discern who really killed these girls. Just when I was sure I had it figured out, new evidence came to light and sent the reader off in a new direction. The reader was great and added to the enjoyment of this book. I hope they translate more and use the same reader.
It is easy to understand why this German suspense novel is an international hit. It is a page turner (or whatever the audio equivalent is called). It has a bit of everything - sex and violence and sort-of necrophilia. But the titillation is all pretty mild - nothing gratuitous or shocking as that of the many other recent Nordic sensations which explains why others regret that it can't be compared with Stieg Larssen's novels.
The narrator has a flat American accent but renders the occasional German (mostly names) with precision. It works most of the time but sometimes when the plot hits one of its many convoluted twists he sounds a bit naive (as if he is relating a fairy tale?). The story isn't much of a fairy tale but the author does owe some debt to other works of German literature for the theme of small town narrow-mindedness and conformism.
What makes Snow White Must Die worth the long listen is in the human relationships of the central characters - the accused - Tobias, his father, the wild teenager Amelie, and the honorable but very human detective partners, Pia and Oliver. Each of these is an attractive, sympathetic character, and I will happily come back to visit with the police officers.
P.S. It is too bad that American readers have met Pia and Oliver in book four of the series. Perhaps the publisher will give us the earlier ones in order so that we can catch up.
This must be a new form of literary style. Beat your reader over the head with basic simple sentences that simply state exactly what is there, with no imagination, stating simply, in a repeated fashion, what is there. I would say that it is for a 2nd grade reading level but that would be unfair to 2nd grade literature.
It might have had a good story but it has all the flow and lilt of a dirge.
I wasted an otherwise perfectly useful credit and at least 30 minutes waiting for it to break into a novel.
Erstwhile librarian and tech salesperson. Favorite genres - history, biography, and mystery.
Great title but I can’t find much that is agreeable or interesting about this book. The first half was maybe o.k. but it kept going on, and on, and on. I love to read mysteries by European authors for a view into different cultures, but this one really doesn’t do that. There is very little in the way of atmosphere, the characters are either boring or unbelievable, and the reader is annoying. The author doesn’t know how to write either a mystery or a police procedural. Some reviewers have excused the book for being a poor translation from the German - maybe so but there is no excuse to publish it, let alone spend the money to make it an audible book.
I hate to be so negative, so I will say that the reader has a very agreeable voice. But he is totally wrong for this book. He is so matter-of-fact that he lessens whatever foreboding or atmosphere there might be, and, most importantly, he has no business doing any of the voices of the characters. The women’s voices all come out whiney, or silly, and the men all sound sad and weak. The already unlikeable characters are made even more so.
I hope there are better German mystery writers than this.
I might buy another book from him
I like that it was set in Germany.
Narration as very good as always.
It's nice to listen to, but it didn't surprise me considering I pretty much knew what would happen the entire time.
Like many others, I was intrigued by the title, Snow White Must Die. I don't often venture into mystery books, but fortunately my curiousity got the best of me this time. This book, translated from from the German and set in a seemingly quaint German village, quickly shows that village life can be far from idyllic.
What I loved most about this book was that no one in Tobais's village is what they seem and every member is hiding some kind of secret. Tobais's return to Altenhein quickly sets in motion a chain of events which begins to unravel years' old secrets that when uncovered have the potential to ruin more than one person's life. I found the mystery engaging, suspenseful, and more importantly unpredictable.
I hope to hear more from the author soon!
I'm not sure why this was so highly reviewed. The story was okay with lots of plot twist that kept you guessing until the end. (Almost too many in my opinion.) The biggest issue I had was all the extraneous information. One example that comes to mind is a single sentence telling us that the fire chief had called in sick. He wasn't a character in the book. Neither was his replacement or any other person in the fire department. It was vastly annoying. Plus, I have no desire to keep track of the personal lives of that many people. It was like turning on a long running soap opera for the first time. Very confusing.
The events in the story should have been more connected; the story kept dropping.
I kept having to back up to figure out what was going on
None stood out
I would not cut anything but I would have added to it, to provide a lot more connectivity.
the story was not clear enough and therfore not strong enough, to support its title which made me expect something intriguing, which the story was not, because it seemed to keep getting started and then faded out. I think the basics for a very good story are there, but it is as if it were edited and then cut, in places (in the interest of meeting some publishing requirement?), making it lose its connectivity, resulting in following and staying with the story difficult.
An author who was capable of writing (or a translator with a better vocabulary). No stereotype is left aside and no horrible metaphor is left unexploited. It's painful to listen to. I abandoned it after about 2 hours.
In Paradise (Peter Matthiessen).
The reader has flat affect and can't do multiple character's voices.
They're all horrible.
This is my second try at this book. The first time, I got bored after an hour or two. Thought I'd give it another shot.
This time, I got 4 hours in, but I can't take it anymore. I love a good mystery, but this author is cheating. The fun is trying to deduce who's the bad guy. The author doesn't use his wits to deceive the reader. He just leaves out information. Like a secret meeting, where he doesn't identify a single character. Everyone is "he" and "she" and "a second man" with no identifying thoughts even.
On top of that, a whole town where not one person picks up the phone and rats out the bad guy because eleven years ago they "agreed to keep a secret"? Really??
Too bad. It could've been a really great book. The plot was almost but not quite there. If only the author had a more devious mind.
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