Snow White Must Die by Nele Nuehaus

snow whiteWhat I thought:

I must admit that I was intrigued by the title of this book; it sounded sort of sinister fairy-story. Fairy-story is isn’t but there are sinister goings-on a plenty alright.

Tobias Sartorius has just been released from prison where he has served 10 years for the murder of 2 teenage girls (one his girlfriend – the “Snow White” of the title – and the other his close friend) after a drunken night back when he was also a teenager. Despite the fact that the girls bodies were never found, Tobias was found guilty of their murder and his reappearance back in the small German village where he grew up is more than unwelcome. The Police are called in when things heat up in the village, especially when another 17 year old girl, Amelie, who not only seems to be particulalry interested in the case but also bears a remarkable resemblance to Snow White goes missing…

I liked the way that this book drew me right in from the first page. It’s pacey and moves along at a speed that satisfied the currently unsatisfied reader in me and didn’t waste time on too many descriptions and unecessary detail when I just wanted it to get on with the plot. I needed twists and sub-plots and that’s what I got. I liked the Police duo Pia and Oliver; I found them to be human which made them endearing, and I understand that this is the 4th book the author has written with them in (although the first to be translated from German).

What I didn’t like so much was the translation. Occasionally I would find whole sentences to be clumsy or clichéd (even lazy) but realised that this probably had more to do with the translation than the author. The book was clearly translated by an American which really seemed to strip away the “Europeaness” of the book. When I’m reading about tiny German villages I don’t want “guys” and “the joint” and “streetcars”. It felt wrong, and could easily have ruined the book for me if I had been in a pernickity mood.

 

Verdict:

I needed a page-turning whodunnit and that’s what I got. I will definitely be looking out for more of this authors books and look forward to getting to know this Police duo more.

 

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