It’s easily apparent that the two lead detectives have featured in previous books (which I believe have not yet been translated to English) yet Neuhaus writes them so well that their respective back-stories are explained through a drip feed of information throughout the course of the novel meaning the pre-reads aren’t a necessity. While the plot drives SNOW WHITE MUST DIE, it’s the well rounded and beautifully crafted characters that really engross the reader. I was surprised to find myself sympathising with the originally touted killer of Snow White, the convicted Tobias and his family (with whom suffered unjustly for crimes they weren’t privy) and rode the bumpy personal rollercoaster of Bodenstein’s domestic situation and Pia’s struggle to maintain her home despite a rather unfair land ownership mishap.
SNOW WHITE MUST DIE contains jaw dropping scenes of cruelty inflicted upon the unjust by perpetrators fuelled by their murderous convictions. The constant shift and change of direction makes it hard to pinpoint who is on the right side of the law. Neuhaus slides her characters around a proverbial chest board to craft this deeply engrossing crime fiction. No one is who they seem to be and I had a great time trying to guess the outcome.
I hope more of the German books in this series get translated as not only would they compliment SNOW WHITE MUST DIE (the 4th book in the series – though it reads well as a standalone) but it would also bring new meaning to some of the minor character interactions, notably those within the police force itself.