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.
Not a commuter so listen to audible books when I'm in the car driving on a long trip or at home housecleaning (not as often as I should). Love reading a good book and love the riveting suspense of listening to a good mystery, but hate not being able to race to the end like I do when I read - but it does make a good book last longer.
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 love to read reviews by other audible listener's- I have learned to trust your judgement over critics who get paid for their opinions
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.
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 . . . !
Say something about yourself!
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.
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.
Great book for fans of Girl With a Dragon Tatoo series. Similar genre - less creepy.
Love Audible! Besides that, have a great husband, 3 married kids and 5 perfect grandchildren! Live in St Louis, MO and love STL Cardinals!!!
I enjoyed the book, although I am certain if I spoke German, or was more familiar with the German names, I might have given it 5 stars all around. It was a good story that kept my attention though out.
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.
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.
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.
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