Sunday, January 13, 2013

review: snow white must die by nele neuhaus

Snow White Must Die takes place in a small German town where a man has just returned after being released from prison.  Tobias served 10 years for killing his girlfriend and his ex-girlfriend although he has no recollection of the murders.  His return reignites a lot of anger in the community that shunned his parents after the trial.  While Tobias tries to help his father restore their home, he becomes friendly with a teenager who has moved into the home of one of the dead girls.  So of course, that girl disappears and Tobias is the prime suspect.

If I ever get the chance, I'd like to ask publishers why they insist on publishing foreign series out of order when acquired for the United States.  Just as Simon & Schuster did with Liza Marklund's Annika Bengtzon series, Macmillan has started the Bodenstein and Kirchhoff series by Nele Neuhaus in the middle.  As I read Snow White Must Die, I kept wondering why the author was spending so much time writing about the personal lives of the detectives investigating the case.  The details seemed extraneous and detracted from the plot.  Eventually I looked up the book online and discovered that Snow White Must Die was originally published in Germany as the fourth book in the series.  So I decided to give Neuhaus the benefit of the doubt and believe that I actually would be interested in the otherwise boring subplots had I been able to read the books in proper order.  Even with that assumption, the plot of this mystery was lacking.  Even when people's lives were in grave danger, there was no urgency to the writing.  I never felt any tension, which a murder mystery with the culprit still unidentified really should have. 
3/5
Review copy from Amazon Vine.

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