I am Your Judge is tightly plotted, and delivers surprise twists at every turn with a story that is ripped from the headlines.
Nele Neuhaus's The Ice Queen is a character- and plot-driven mystery about revenge, power, and long-forgotten and covered up secrets from a time in German history that still affects the present.
He always brought presents—it was a secret that she and Papa shared, because he never brought anything for the others. Only for her. She was his favorite.
The door opened, and she uttered a frightened cry when she saw the wolf. But then she had to laugh. It wasn't a real wolf after all; it was only Papa, who had put on a costume. How lovely it was that she was the only one to share this secret with Papa. Too bad she could never remember anything afterward.
On a hot June day, the body of a sixteen-year-old girl washes up on a riverbank outside of Frankfurt. She has been brutally murdered and shows signs of long-term abuse, but no one comes forward with any information as to her identity. Even weeks later, the local police have not been able to find out who she is. Then a new case comes in: A popular television host is attacked, raped, and locked in the trunk of her own car. She survives, barely, and is able to supply only vague hints to the police, having to do with her recent investigations into an organization whose members are from the highest echelons of society, and the potential uncovering of a shocking history they'd prefer to keep from the public eye.
As the two cases collide, Inspectors Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein dig deep into the past and underneath the veneer of bourgeois society to come up against a terrible secret that is about to impact their personal lives as well. It is almost too late for a person very close to Pia before she and Oliver finally track down the big bad wolf. . . . In Nele Neuhaus's second U.S. publication of her enormously popular series, tensions run high both inside and outside police headquarters, and a complex and unpredictable plot propels her characters forward at breakneck speed.
Snow White Must Die
When Pia and Oliver are assigned to investigate a suspicious traffic death in a small town, details from a murder twenty years earlier start resurfacing, and the townspeople believe that a long forgotten killer is back on the loose... and out for blood.
Pia and Oliver struggle to identify a young murder victim that has washed up on a river bank when a well-known TV reporter is brutally attacked. Something isn't right in Frankfurt's highest echelons of society, and the two detectives have to dig deep to uncover shocking secrets. .
The Ice Queen
The savage execution-style murder of a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor brings Pia and Oliver back to Frankfurt where eerily similar deaths keep occurring. The elderly victims seem to have one contact in common, a rich society matriarch who could be the key to catching a killer hiding secrets from the end of WWII.
On a rainy November day police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: A woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer.
On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace. In a trial based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius, Rita Cramer's son, was sentenced to ten years in prison. Bodenstein and Kirchhoff discover that Tobias, after serving his sentence, has now returned to his home town. Did the attack on his mother have something to do with his return?
In the village, Pia and Oliver encounter a wall of silence. When another young girl disappears, the events of the past seem to be repeating themselves in a disastrous manner. The investigation turns into a race against time, because for the villagers it is soon clear who the perpetrator is—and this time they are determined to take matters into their own hands.
An atmospheric, character-driven and suspenseful mystery set in a small town that could be anywhere, dealing with issues of gossip, power, and keeping up appearances.