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Snow White Must Die [Paperback]

Nele Neuhaus
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 July 2013
In a small town in Germany a boy is accused of murdering his beautiful girlfriend. But this is no fairy story . . . On a September evening eleven years ago, two 17-year-old girls vanished without a trace from the tiny village of Altenhain, just outside Frankfurt. In a trial based on circumstantial evidence 20-year-old Tobias Sartorius was convicted and imprisoned for the murder of his childhood friend Laura and his beautiful girlfriend Stefanie – otherwise known as Snow White. After serving his sentence, Tobias returns home. His presence in the little German village stirs up the events of the past. Events that the locals would prefer to remain hidden. When the Sartorius family is subjected to a number of attacks, Detective Inspector Pia Kirchhoff and DS Oliver von Bodenstein are tasked with monitoring the tense atmosphere in the tight-knit community. As the village inhabitants close ranks it becomes apparent the disappearance of Snow White and her friend was far more complex than imagined. Then history starts to repeat itself in a disastrous manner when another pretty girl goes missing. The police are thrown into a race against time. Can they solve the mystery before it’s too late?

Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447245407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447245407
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.4 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 474,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


."..[an] emotional page turner, fueled by unexpected plot twists."--"Kirkus Reviews" "German author Neuhaus makes her U.S. debut with this impressive multidimensional police procedural, which has already been published in 15 countries with more than three million copies in print. Convicted on circumstantial evidence of murdering two vanished 17-year-old girls, 30-year-old Tobias Sartorius returns home to Altenhain, a village near Frankfurt, after serving his 10-year sentence, to find his parents divorced and their lives as hopeless as his has become. The townspeople maintain a mafia-like code of silence to protect terrible betrayals past and present, even as the discovery of the skeletal remains of one of the missing girls leads Det. Insp. Pia Kirchhoff and Det. Sgt. Oliver von Bodenstein to suspect Tobias was innocent. Meanwhile, the two police officers get caught up in personal crises that realistically counterpoint the violence that greets Tobias's attempts to re-establish his life, when yet another girl goes missing and masked villagers nearly kill him. Again and again, Neuhaus inserts the old Grimm fairy tale refrain--"White as snow, red as blood, black as ebony"--that describes Snow White, the role of one of the original missing girls in a high school play 10 years earlier, to underscore the grimmest of human emotions: white for icily plotted revenge, red for raging jealousy, black for homicidal madness.--"Publishers Weekly (starred review") ."..[will]keep readers turning the pages up to the unpredictable addictively engaging mystery filled with suspects, confusion, love, and fear. Sure to intrigue and satisfy mystery fans, especially those who love international crime procedurals.--"Library Journal""" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Nele Neuhaus is one of the most widely read German mystery writers. More than two million copies of her books are currently in print. She lives near Frankfurt, Germany.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex thriller with a web of secrets 2 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Snow White must Die is the fourth in a popular thriller series written by German, Nele Neuhaus. In 2008 Tobias Sartorius is released from prison after serving a 10 year sentence for killing two 17 year old girls in September 1997. He returns to his parent's home only to find that they have divorced, the family business has failed and the locals are far from welcoming.

The Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein, the local police, turn up to speak to Tobias and his father when it turns out an accident they are investigating involved Tobias' mother. Pia requests the file from the murders and spots some inconsistencies; although told not to investigate further evidence indicates that the full story was not told at Tobias' trial.

This is a well told story although one you have to concentrate on; the cast is huge which combined with unfamiliar names can take a while to get used to. The characters are various, the big businessman, the kindly doctor, a few ambivalent parents, an autistic thirty year old who doesn't talk, the goth teenager who starts her own investigation to name but a few. There is also the personal life of Pia and Oliver which clearly has developed over time making me wonder why the decision was made to start four books into a series.

With plenty of intrigue the complex web of secrets is slowly unwound to reveal the truth and not without a few scary moments along the way this large book is perfect holiday reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 28 July 2014
By Lisa P
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the fourth book in this series involving the characters Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein although this is the first to be translated into English. Tobias Sartorius has been released from prison after serving ten years for the murder of two girls in his rural community. Tobias returns to much hostility and although initially decides he wants a quiet life, circumstances lead to him trying to prove his innocence. Then another young girl goes missing...
This is a well written book and I really enjoyed reading it in only a couple of sittings. The plot moved along at quite a pace and I liked the two main chracters. I also found it quite easy to empathise with Tobias. I am definitely looking forward to 'Big Bad Wolf' which is out in paperback at the end of the month.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable 25 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although a little slow to start, this book improves rapidly as the reader is immensed in the absorbing storyline. Tobias Sartorius is released from prison after serving 10 years for a double murder, convicted on circumstancial evidence. Soon after he returns to his parents' house, local resentment erupts, intending to make his life a living hell. The locals have closed ranks to hide away their many secrets, secrets that must remain hidden at any cost. Then another girl disappears, just like the two that are still missing, the truth still buried deep in the past. I was hooked on this book from start to finish, it is the first I have read from Nele Neuhaus. I do love the way she writes and the twists at every turn. In one word, brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging without completely convincing 14 Jun 2014
By tpryan
This is am intriguing read and the basic plot keeps you guessing as a young guy returns home after serving a sentence for a crime he may or may not have committed. While I liked the twists and turns and most of the main characters were plausible with interesting side stories there was a feeling by the end that the truth couldn't have been kept hidden for quite so long.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you like crime books you will like this! 4 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As it was a vine pick I didn't realize that the book is part of a series so there are points in the book about the two main cops which washed straight over me which if you have read the other books will be more useful. Most of the characters are not very likable which makes it hard for you to fill any sympathy for them and the outcome. Some of the topics are quite deep and would not be suitable for a younger reader. If you like crime books then you will like this but it may take a while to get into.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Complex mystery that's hard to classify. Doesn't read like a traditional police procedural and lacks enough pace/action to fit neatly into the thriller genre.

Snow White Must Die is all about slow building atmosphere and needs concentration to stay with due to the large amount of characters and differing time frames. The plot is centered around the backlash of a serious crime and reflects how all of those involved, from the past until the present, have been influenced.

Central character, Tobias Sartorius, committed a double homicide (or did he?) and now, newly released from prison, returns to the home of his parents only to discover nothing's how he remembered it. The family have changed in subtle ways, and not so much so, and their financial situation has become dire. As the novel moves along several sub-plots involving the family, particularly the mother, are opened up and when it's revealed a young girl has disappeared it seems Tobias could be the link.

From that moment on the police enter the story and the novel takes off in the direction of becoming a cat and mouse chase but; it doesn't really get there and those themes remain quite subtle and in the background.

The plot's complex and moves slowly because the author takes a long time to set the stage and place the characters. There's never any rush to hurtle towards an obvious, firecracker of a finale bur rather a gentle downward slide towards something that's really not too exciting.

I didn't find this particular novel a joy to read but both the standard of writing and detailed plotting are extremely good. I was also impressed with the authors ability to keep the plot under control while dealing with so many characters and the differing time frames. For those reasons I couldn't leave less than 4* but for my own personal reading pleasure I wouldn't leave more than 3*.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good
Good book, getting too much complicated in the end (pity!).
But the characters are well focused, and the general plot works.
Published 12 hours ago by Gaia bertocci marsicola
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of suspense
Full of suspense and intrigue. I enjoyed this book and will have to look out for more of the same
Published 12 days ago by Mrs Samantha J Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Snow white must die
I really enjoyed this had me stuck in my chair.a very good read. I can really recommend it as a fantastic read
Published 13 days ago by jacqueline hearn
2.0 out of 5 stars goes on a bit!
Reasonable plot with some twists and turns but too long and poorly written. Ok if you want an easy read and a murder mystery. Read more
Published 20 days ago by V. Mullis
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down. Sorry, got to get ...
Can't put it down. Sorry, got to get back to it.
Published 24 days ago by dissatisfied
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A superbly written crime drama. I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put it down.
Published 26 days ago by SJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex thriller and great read.
Good thriller with complex characters, plot and settings. Great translation and immensely readable.
Published 1 month ago by Wendy Woo
3.0 out of 5 stars OK as adeal of the day
Not quite a four star

I can't complain too much as it was one of the daily deals for £1.59. Quite a long book , with too many characters who are superfluous. Read more
Published 1 month ago by olly
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 1 month ago by jen
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down. Would have given it five ...
Couldn't put it down. Would have given it five stars but struggled in places with the brutality - my shortcoming, not the book's!
Published 1 month ago by C. A. Phillips
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