Sunday, 1 December 2013

Snow White Must Die By Nele Neuhaus

Tobias is back in Altenhain, a German Village, after eleven years in prison. He was convicted for killing two girls. Now that Tobias is back in his village, everybody hates him and wants him to go away. He gets threatening letters, graffiti on his walls and gets even beaten. Is it just vigilantism or something else is happening here? Why is the whole village against him? He is not a serial killer, not a sexual predator, if the dead girls were seventeen Tobias was twenty too. One of the girls had dumped him that evening, the other probably witnessed his crime. If he killed them, it was not premeditated or planned, it was a crime of passion, and Tobias was not an outsider but a boy loved by one and all. So why this hatred against him? There was no proof that he killed the girls, the girls just disappeared and he was arrested on circumstantial evidence. So why does the village hates him is a question I can't help asking, and we are taken on an interesting journey to know this answer. When events of the past start repeating themselves, when another seventeen year old disappears, things become really difficult for Tobias. What happened to the girls eleven years ago? What happened to the girl who disappeared now?

When I read 'How the light gets in' by Louise Penny, I couldn't help comment that the cozy village where everyone looks out for one another is not something we read every day in our crime novels. But the village where everybody knows everybody's secrets, do not hesitate to do anything to protect themselves is more the norm in our crime novels, so is this village in this book. 
Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein conduct the investigation on the disappearance. I had a little confusion about Oliver's age. In the beginning we learn he has a two year old daughter, and then some way into the book we learn he is married for twenty five years, then we learn still further he has a grown up son who is getting married. Maybe this confusion because it is the fourth book in the series, but first to be translated into English. For a large tome this is quite a quick read, interesting plot line with multiple twists that gets very complicated. 

Translated from German by Steven T Murray

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