Friday, October 31, 2014
Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus
3.0 out of 5 stars -- Something is extremely wrong in Altenhain...
This is the 4th book in the Kirchhoff and Bodenstein series, and the second one I've read -- out of order due to publication decisions in the USA after translation from the German. I must say I was disappointed. A police procedural, the narrative was overly complicated with shifts in viewpoint that made the complex drama irritating at times and confusing at best.
Tobias Sartorius is released from prison after serving 10 years for his conviction in the murder of two 17 year-old girls whom he had dated. Although the evidence was circumstantial and no bodies were ever found, he's done his time, and inexplicably returns to the scene of the crime, his hometown in Altenhain. He finds his former home and his father in ruins -- the family restaurant out of business and his mother gone after divorcing his father. Despite the fact that the townspeople have punished his family for Tobias's crime, he has nowhere else to go and sets about cleaning up the property. One gets the impression that Tobias is not guilty of those murders, but he had a blackout from drinking at the time and can't remember anything.
Meanwhile, Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver Bodenstein are called to the site of an attempted murder when a woman is pushed off a bridge into oncoming traffic. The woman happens to be Tobias's mother. Is this attack coincidental to Tobias's return? When Pia and Oliver start to investigate the circumstances in Altenhein, they can't find anyone there willing to talk with them. It's a hot mess of coverups and lies from there on out. The story just wraps around on itself with unbelievable con-incidences, contradictions, and ridiculous behavior of characters that defies belief. The motives of the almost completely nonredeemable cast are slim and convoluted and the reader has a lot of people to keep track of while trying to follow the story. Perhaps everyone in Altenhein has a reason to prevent the police from finding out what really happened, and why, way back in 1997. In addition, Oliver is having trouble at home with his wife and Pia faces eviction from her property.
I really didn't like any of the characters or the resolution of this mystery. I am debating whether or not I want to read another in this series -- it's just too much work and the payoff wasn't there.
Book borrowed from library. And, I did request THE ICE QUEEN from NetGalley and am waiting to hear for approval for the e-book ARC.