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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 22 November 2014
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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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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on 14 June 2014
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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on 24 October 2013
Had never heard of this author until the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival 2013 - a delightful lady and very funny. Apparently a best seller in Germany Like the influx of the Scandinavian authors, it clearly is taking time to be translated and filter these treats down to English speaking audiences.
I liked this story, certainly an unusual premise and guessed the perpetrator two-thirds of the way through but it did keep me going right to the end to see how she could weave all the loose threads together.
A convoluted tale of rural jealousy and envy. She took the name of a real town in Germany.
I really could not quite believe initially that the lad accused could have been convicted despite the lack of bodies and even with the charge of murder would only get 10 years - it would be interesting to know if this seems the German norm.
I thought the writing style at times a little facile so was surprised about her popularity, but perhaps this is more due to the translation and as others here have mentioned, it is translated by Steven Murray who does most of the other Nordic languages as well, but is American so using US vernacular which is a bit confusing for audiences the other side of the Atlantic. "Cell"(phone) and "joint" amongst others are grating and detracting and raises an interesting dilemma - should all translations to "English" be ultimately given an additional East-West Atlantic re-edit.
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on 8 November 2016
This book is a multi-bestseller which has garnered great reviews, and I feel a bit out of step by only giving it three stars. Truth be told, there are so many fantastic crime and thriller books around that my bar is set extremely high! I did enjoy the book though, just not as much as some others, and I have to admit I enjoyed the more exotic setting of a small town in Germany as well as an intriguing and interesting cast of characters.
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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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on 20 September 2016
Right, so the blurb is kinda extensive so I’ll try to sum it up super quickly. We follow the truly devastating story of Tobias Sartorius. Pia Kirchoff is embarking on her saddest case so far after finding the bones of an unknown individual in an underground jet fuel tank. Pia and her partner in crime Bodenstein must unravel the secrets that surround the body. On the other side of town, there is another incident, a 7-car collision caused by the attempted murder of a woman pushed off a bridge. The woman in question is Rita Cramer and as it comes to light there are more and more secrets in the town of Altenhain. Tobias is back in town after serving ten years for the murder of two beautiful girls whose bodies were never found not that he can remember what happened – when another young girl goes missing and once again Tobias is missing his memory is everything as it seems?

Right, down to the nitty-gritty (finally.) In terms of the story there are multiple story-lines mixed in together and pulled in very quickly. The writing is really engaging and definitely draws the reader in. In terms of characters profiles, despite their being MANY MANY characters all of them are really well-developed and examined. I thought Tobias could have been developed a little better – I think because he was so closed off because of all that had happened it was at times difficult to feel for him.

I must admit at times it does feel a little stilted, I think it’s because of the translation but it is sometimes a bit awkward. I also found it a little difficult to keep up with alllllll the names. I don’t know whether I’m just really bad with names but I struggled a little when characters were mentioned super quickly and then weren’t mentioned until another ten chapters later. Some of the police procedures were very different from UK practices? I guess it’s just a European thing but it added to the slight awkwardness.

However, what I did like was that there were lots of twists and turns, lots of mixed messages, red herrings and throughout there were LOTS of possible suspects for certain parts of the mystery. It’s one of those books were I felt maybe a diagram would have been a good idea just to spell out all the twists and turns but it plays out really well – it’s not too confusing but I adored looking at the different alliances with different members of the village, the use of town anxieties, and gossip. It just helped to fuel my excitement.

Before I go on for utterly forever I would definitely recommend this book for a read. It’s one that recaptured my attention and I literally didn’t put down for over 2 and a half hours on the train to London. It’s a really good crime novel and although there are wobbles it’s still a brilliant book!
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on 7 December 2013
If the author is so well know, then perhaps it is the stilted translation?
It was hard not to rewrite sentences while reading since they were so boringly and poorly constructed. Who IS the translator?
The plot was interesting but getting to it was a lot of slogging through the tedious text.
Surely it is the English translation.
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on 6 May 2015
I nearly gave up on this book because quite frankly the writing is a little dire in places. At times sentences were unclear, cliches have been used, there's a dramatic over-use of adverbs and the dialogue was occasionally implausible. I appreciate that some of this may be due to translation errors, but I still would not expect this is in a published novel.

However, despite all this, I plowed on and I'm pleased I did. The story is excellent with an unpredictable plot and there is a vast array of fleshed-out characters (one or two unnecessary). It was a good thriller and I enjoyed reading a book set in Germany, but I would only recommend it to people who are willing to be a little lenient and read over its imperfections.
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on 4 June 2015
This could have been a great book but believe me, it isn't. The author has definitely missed an opportunity with this, it is completely let down by bringing in far too many one dimensional characters who you don't care about, as well as a silly and ridiculous plot. At times, I thought I was reading the script to a sitcom. Very disappointing, I can just about give it 2 stars as it starts well enough before descending into farce. How other people can give this 5 stars is beyond me.
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