Author Nele Neuhaus
Series: Bodenstein & Kirchhoff #4
Publisher Minotaur Books
Publication Date January 15, 2013
Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus is a tremendous new contemporary mystery series and huge international bestseller—with more than 3.5 million copies in print!
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 home town. 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.
An atmospheric, character-driven and suspenseful mystery set in a small town that could be anywhere, dealing with issues of gossip, power, and keeping up appearances.
By reading the title Snow White Must Die, one would think it Nele Neuhaus has written a was a Snow White retelling. It is dark like Grimm’s Tale, but the comparison stops there.
Impressions While Reading
Pia and Oliver were fantastic detective characters. Their star power as a team reminded me of Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox from Tana French’s In The Woods. This is actually the fourth in the Bodenstein & Kirchoff series but first to be published in the U.S. Therefore, the characters were already developed and felt like I missed their introduction. I had a little catch-up to do. Fortunately, the back story of the detectives was not too detailed and was easy to get along with. Having lived in a small town myself, I understand how labels die-hard and felt the coldness of the town seethed through the pages. this made for a chilly read. I did have an idea of who it might be. Although, looking back I feel that was Nele Neuhaus’ point all along.
The conclusion was completely unexpected and was a serious “I did not see that coming” moment. Unfortunately, the end still fell flat like a pancake. I felt that the author was trying to make a happy ending for Tobias, but the damage that had been done to his family was beyond repair and instead came off as “you’ve got to be kidding me.” That is quite the 360 from the previous sentence but that is the gist of Snow White Must Die, it is a novel that takes you through a loop. It has you waiting on the edge of your seat to know who gave Snow White the deathly apple.