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 hometown. 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)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"This novel is bursting with conspiracy and subterfuge and a raw exposition of the ugliness that can inhabit the human soul. Like detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein, readers won't stop until the shocking ending is finally revealed." (USA Today)
"...[an] emotional page turner, fueled by unexpected plot twists." (Kirkus Reviews)
"With more twists and turns than you can shake a stick at and a suitably over-the-top ending, Snow White Must Die is excellent poolside fare." (The Guardian)
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I really could not get to grips with this book at all - I am assuming it was a translation and perhaps something was lost in that way. None of the characters seemed real, I rarely give up on a book but I have on this. It feels as if it is trying to fit into a pattern of 'write yourself a thriller'. The characters are stereotypical and I had difficulty believing this was written in this century. The stock characters in the police - good cop, bad cop, grumpy cop, thoughtless managing cop - they are all there in one big basket. I will avoid this author in the future.
"A little too much snow"
No. It is dependent upon the unfolding of the story and the unexpected twists and turns which gives this book it's appeal. Having heard it once the surprise has gone.
No. It is clever and initially intriguing, seemingly more than an average thriller or who done it?. But as the storyline throws up more and more convoluted (supposed) surprises, I found it also became tedious and rather predictable. It would have been far better had it been shorter.
Warm, mellifluous, balanced
Neither. The main reaction towards the latter part of the book was simply oh, no, here we go again.
Only to repeat that, what seemed to be an above average story which focused on emotional responses as much as to the thriller aspect, became increasingly desperate to surprise in the final third and so lost the integrity I felt it had carried earlier. It was an O.K. listen, the narrator was excellent, but I wish it had been shorter.
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