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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex thriller with a web of secrets
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...
Published 18 months ago by C. Bannister

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging without completely convincing
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.
Published 6 months ago by tpryan


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex thriller with a web of secrets, 2 Jun 2013
By 
C. Bannister (Jersey, CI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snow White Must Die (Paperback)
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging without completely convincing, 14 Jun 2014
This review is from: Snow White Must Die (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Near Miss., 1 Nov 2014
This review is from: Snow White Must Die (Paperback)
Snow White Must Die is very nearly a very good book but the story gets bogged down with the Author's almost obsessive need to give background information on just about every major character to the extent that it drifts into soap opera territory far too often.Seemingly it has sold 3 million copies and has rave reviews on Amazon but I found the constant diversions into the characters private lives tedious and frustrating,not least as when Ms Neuhaus sticks to her story it's an excellent read.She also seems to feel the need to over-complicate things and without spoiling the story for those who might read it the ever-growing list of suspects and perpetrators of various crimes leading to seemingly most of the population of a small village near Frankfurt being arrested for various very serious crimes made the whole thing veer perilously close to ridiculous. The "off topic" meanderings about the various characters love lives,planning applications (seriously!!) and past lives annoyed me so much at one point that I put it down with 100 pages to go,read another book,then finished it a couple of days later.the last few chapters just got more and more convoluted as the Author tried to be too clever and pull too many twists.
Having said all that I did enjoy it,even if it did frustrate and irritate too often,it could easily lose 100 pages of irrelevancies about the various characters personal lives and the ending was slightly farcical and predictable. Very nearly a 5 star book but for me deeply flawed,I'd guess fans of Camilla Lackberg will love it,no doubt Cinnamon Buns and the joys of parenthood still making their regular appearance in her books,a great story spoiled by all the padding and and the clunky ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable, 25 Aug 2014
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Snow White Must Die, 13 July 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snow White Must Die (Paperback)
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Nele Neuhaus is a very successful German author, who was initially self published - her very first novel, a standalone thriller "Swimming with Sharks", has just been translated into English alongside this book - which is the fourth in a popular series featuring her characters Detective Inspector Pia Kirchhoff and DS Oliver von Bodenstein. It is a shame that so many European crime series translated into English are published out of order (Jo Nesbo, etc) as I personally prefer to read books in the order they were written in and it was difficult to understand all the relationships between well established characters. That said, this is a very well written and plotted crime book.

Tobias Sartorius has been released from prison after serving ten years for the murder of two girls in his small, rural community - his ex-girlfriend Laura Wagner and Stephanie Schneeberger (the beautiful 'Snow White' of the title). Both girls were seventeen when they went missing and the bodies have never been found. The closed community resent Tobias returning and the only person who kept in touch with him throughout his imprisonment was his neighbour, Nadia, now a famous film star. Tobias returns to find his father's business has been ruined by his absence and, when he sets out to try to rebuild his life, the family are threatened and harassed. Living next door now is young Amelie, another pretty young girl who becomes interested in the case and then goes missing...

This is a complex plot; part involving the case itself, a side story about the discovery of a body and it is also about the established characters Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein, who have their own personal issues to contend with. Many in the police department seem to think that Tobias was found guilty of the murders all those years ago and deserves little sympathy, but Pia feels that something is very wrong. She also feels, correctly, that the answers to Amelie's disappearance lie in the past and is linked to the fate of two young girls who have never been found. Overall, this is a good read and there is obviously a wealth of fantastic European authors yet to be translated into English and discovered by new readers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, but frustrating, 22 Nov 2014
By 
R. G. Brookman (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snow White Must Die (Paperback)
This is the first book I have read by Nele Neuhaus, and I am not 100% convinced. You can get the outline of the story elsewhere, so I won't repeat that, but it is immensely complicated and detailed, and not always in a good way. I was reminded of the old American comedy Soap (Confused? You will be ...) Two barriers get in the way of a good read here - one is the long list of German names, which all sound a bit unfamiliar and samey to an English reader, and it is therefore difficult to remember who is who (and who is married to who, and who had an affair with who, you get it). (I had the same problem with the Swedish names in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.) The second is the clunky translation, which is over-wrought and descends into cliché far too often. I'm assuming it's the translation rather than the author, as she seems to get good reviews elsewhere. The plot is intriguing, if not always believable, although I have to say I had spotted the main plot twist about a third of the way through. The characters are a bit too obvious, too - the beautiful girl who turns out to be bad, the kooky girl who is the hero's saviour, the hard-bitten cop with marital problems - seen 'em all before. And yet there was a lot to keep me interested and I kept reading to the end and didn't want to put it down, and I will certainly be up for anything else by this author if it comes my way. Annoying and intriguing in equal measure, and a good holiday read. With reservations ...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex mystery, not a thriller, hard to classify nicely written., 27 July 2013
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snow White Must Die (Paperback)
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars my favourite book of the year, 3 Nov 2014
This review is from: Snow White Must Die (Paperback)
Not since Dragon tattoo and obsessively reading all of Jo Nesbo has a thriller excited me as much as this book . I know very little about german literature and was extremely impressed, Its a very visual book and I love the way Neuhaus introduces so many characters and the details of their lives . It becomes like reading great tv [ie the killing] as we are presented with so many points of view. Wow! I could really empathise with Tobias as the inhabitants of the small town turn on him [ comparisons with the Danish film the hunt] . I will definitely be seeking out more german thrillers after this gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting book, good plot, 14 Dec 2013
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This book has quite a complicated plot at the beginning and it was a bit frustrating to begin with. It got better towards the middle and has a decent ending.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but not quite top rank, 25 Sep 2014
I agree with tpryan, engaging and entertaining, but not completely convincing. I had a minor issue with the translation, as the American word "gotten" is used a little too often for my liking. It jarred a little with me as I think it seemed to crop up here more often than in most US crime books (Grisham, Connelly, Deaver) that I have read. Maybe it is a more accurate translation of the German. However, this was the first book by this author that I've read, and I will probably read Big Bad Wolf. ,
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Snow White Must Die
Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus (Paperback - 29 Aug 2013)
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