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 wa..Show More »sn'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?
The Atlantic ocean seems to have gotten a little smaller since the success of Larsson's Dragon Tattoo series. Foreign modern crime thrillers have gain..Show More »ed 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.
The basis for this book is one of the most hackneyed postwar plots in modern literature. The book itself does not lend itself to an audio treatment a..Show More »s there are so many characters with such confusing back-stories that a searchable E book would be better. In edition to the unoriginal central plot he author has thrown in gratuitous cliches, seemingly at random.
Disappointed, but unsure if it's the author or translator
I enjoyed the last Nele Neuhaus books enough to keep an eye out for new releases, but a few hours into this disappointing novel, I was reminded how- a..Show More »s much as I enjoyed the Bad Wolf, I remembered being disturbed by some cheesy dialogue and slipshod police work from our stars. This latest effort was surprisingly full of that. I'm giving three stars instead of two because I'm wondering if the translation was part of what went wrong. Language and cultural differences may be a partial culprit. That said, the poor police procedure from our heroes, the hackneyed way certain antagonists were written, the unusually high need to suspend disbelief (& often) and the overly dramatic narration of certain characters were just too much for me. I enjoy Neuhaus's storylines, but this potentially good story arc was just enough to keep me reading until the end, but with a growing irritation by the time I hit the finish line.