Friday, January 16, 2015
The Ice Queen (#3) by Nele Neuhaus
4.0 out of 5 stars
This is an excellent German police procedural, and the third book by Neuhaus that I have read. It is also #3 in the series. Unfortunately, because of the order in which the translations have been released in the USA, and also because the release of the series is incomplete, I actually started with Bad Wolf (#6), then read Snow White Must Die (#4), and just now getting this one. REVERSE ORDER. This is quite confusing going backward in time with regard to the growth of the Kirchhoff-Bodenstein partnership and with character development. In addition, the personal lives of the characters, once known from reading out of order, become less important and somewhat annoying as you knew the decisions and choices they were going to make and the outcome. I always enjoy details about the lead detectives and their lives outside of the current major case.
I must credit a friend, Kim M, for the excellent literary detective work she did to identify the titles and order of the series as published in Germany. It's with regret that I realize that I won't likely be able to read them all until translated in whatever order the publisher decrees, and disappointed that I can't read in order as a good series should be read.
So, for interested readers, this is the information needed
Taunus (Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirchhoff) Series
#1 - An Unpopular Woman (pub 2006 as Eine unbeliebte Frau)
#2 - Friends Till Death (pub 2007 as Mordsfreunde)
#3 - The Ice Queen aka Skin Deep (pub 2009 as Tiefe Wunden)
#4 - Snow White Must Die (pub 2010 as Schneewittchen muss sterben)
#5 - Those Who Sow (pub 2011 as Wer Wind sät)
#6 - Bad Wolf (pub 2012 as Böser Wolf)
#7 - The Living & the Dead (pub 2014 as Die Lebenden und die Toten)
With that now clear, I must say that each story is a well-developed and complex investigative novel that could probably stand on its own IF you hadn't already read another, and more importantly, read them at least in order of them being written instead of backwards. From the synopsis provided and without giving away spoilers, this one involves a series of gruesome murders that lead back to the Third Reich and SS officers taking on the identity of dead Jews, greed, and incredible family secrets. There are many characters, lots of red herrings, and a solid conclusion. I did enjoy it. Happy reading!
Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Minotaur Books for the e-book ARC to review.