Translated by Steven T. Murray
This fourth entry in the German police procedurals featuring Detective Pia Kirchhoff and her partner, Oliver von Bodenstein, is a tightly written novel of suspense.
Kirchhoff is recently married and packing for her honeymoon when she gets a call about a murder. Bodenstein can’t get there right away so Kirchhoff fills in. An elderly woman out walking her dog was gunned down in cold blood.
Kirchhoff can’t help but become intrigued when she cannot find any reason for this woman to be killed. The victim is well liked in the community, as is the next victim, another elderly woman who is shot through her kitchen window while cooking with her granddaughter.
The police force is severely shorthanded and it’s easy to see that Kirschhoff married the right man; he completely understands when she cancels their honeymoon to stay and work on the case. A high level profiler is brought in but he rubs everyone the wrong way, offering an occasional break in the tension.
All the characters are well developed and refreshingly imperfect, adding real depth to what could have been just another serial killer story in a lesser writer’s hands. Scandinavian thrillers may be all the rage, but Newhaus is putting Germany on the radar as well.
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01/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
I AM YOUR JUDGE by Nele Neuhaus. Minotaur Books (January 12, 2016). ISBN 978-1250071682. 416p.