An interesting crime novel with a WWII connection: definitely keeps you on your toes!
Freshly trained detective Johannes “Hannes” Niehaus is brand-new to the Criminal Investigation Department. And his partner, unconventional veteran detective Fritz Janssen, isn’t the least bit thrilled to train a rookie.
When a woman’s body washes up on the nearby shores of the Baltic Sea, Hannes gets his first taste of real crime—and a chance to prove himself. Quickly the investigation pulls him and Fritz into a whirlpool of dangerous, decades-old cover-ups. As the death count rises, the clues begin to lead them back to the Third Reich—and to harrowing crimes some people will do anything to keep hidden. (Goodreads)
This was a little slow to get into, but I think this is more due to it being a translation than the author’s style. Not the best translation I’ve read. I also kept forgetting what I had happened from the last time I read it so I had to keep retracing my steps. Once the real action hit though, I couldn’t put it down.
The book alternates between the perspectives of our main detectives, a missing girl, and an unknown person. For the most part this is well-done but the mystery person is deliberately cryptic and because these chapters were few and far between, this crypticness made it difficult to keep up with their story. Further into the book, I was able to hold onto these details better, but in the beginning I felt really lost with the overload of information.
I did really enjoy the crime aspects of this book. It moved along at a quick pace and there were lots of twists. It seemed to closely model a real police investigation (as far as I know). The detectives were actually limited by time constraints so it wasn’t like they were able to solve the case in a day. If you like crime novels that strive more for authenticity, this would definitely be a good book for you.
That being said, even though I really enjoyed the plot I do have my reasons for a lower rating. These are mainly because of the main character, Hannes. He’s an inexperienced detective, this is his first case after all, but for god’s sake at least make an attempt to follow basic protocol! He fraternizes with suspects and discusses every detail of the case with everyone he meets, not instilling much hope in his skills. The main problem I have with him, though, is that he’s in need of a girlfriend and apparently that merits an in-depth physical description of every woman he comes in contact with. While there are several women in the novel, most of them get the once-over at some point, some with favourable results and others not so. It’d be nice to be able to read a book where the female characters were treated with some level of respect and not just as potential romantic interests.
While the crime and mystery surrounding it were very interesting to follow, the main character made it difficult for me to get into. Good for an authentic crime case but don’t expect much from any of the women in this book.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review