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You capture the book very well and I'm very glad you reviewed it. It does indeed illustrate that the principle less is more can be very effective. It's well constructed and bleak. I liked it quite a bit. I have no idea why I never read another one.


Although I agree with you about the quality of her writing (which is continued in her next two books, in my opinion) I am still in two minds about this novel. In some ways it is rather slight, I am not sure, at the end of the day, what to make of it. Sorry, this is not a very coherent comment, but I have found all her books rather disturbing and not sure if they are deep or superficial. Anthea Bell is a very good translator and has also done Jan Costin Wagner's novels (German author, finnish setting). I really liked Ice Moon, his first novel.


Wow, you sold it to me!

Joan Kyler

I'm just glad I didn't read your review a week ago, before I spent the weekend in a very isolated house in the woods! I admit that I did think about bears and slasher movies just before I went to sleep.

Kathy Johnson

Interesting review. I think the read-alongs (if that is the correct term) you participate in really broaden your reading knowledge, and when you write about your experiences, it helps to broaden ours, too. Thank you for sharing.


Caroline--Maybe because it was so dark it is better that it is a short read. I liked the style she used--building a picture of the crime by using so many different perspectives. As I'm trying to not buy so many books I hope I can find her other book at the library!
Maxine--I think I know what you mean--at first when I finished and read the solution I felt a little underwhelmed as the story is fairly thin really. In this case, for me, less was more, though. I liked how she constructed the story just giving enough information to tell the story. But part of the reason I like crime stories aside from the mystery aspect is getting an idea of a society and the psychology and motivations behind the crime, and there wasn't necessarily a lot of depth here. I'm very curious about her other books so will see what I can find. And I very much like Anthea Bell so will be on the lookout for her work. I do, luckily, have that exact Wagner book on hand and look forward to reading it.
Smithereens--I'm looking forward to seeing what you make of it!
Joan Kyler--I admit this did sort of unnerve me to think about last time I was home and with it getting dark so early it is creepy to think about. I like the idea of a house that is on it's own--a little solitary, but maybe this would not be the book to read there!
Kathy--That is what they are called I think. I do enjoy them very much, though I think next month I am going to read at whim. But this is a good way indeed to look for books I might not normally read otherwise.


This sounds good and creepy even since it was based on a true crime.


You do write such fantastic reviews. You've made me want to pick this one up, even though (In Cold Blood aside), it's not the usual kind of thing I head for. It sounds very chilling!


Stefanie--I decided to refrain from reading the wikipedia entry on the real murder. The novel was enough for me!
Litlove--I usually go for a nice clean murder story along the lines of Agatha Christie, but I was intrigued by this one. I think I need to find a happy/cheerful German novel now.


This one definitely reminds me of In Cold Blood and seems like one I should add to my list.


Kathleen--If you read and liked In Cold Blood, this is one that has a similar feel--though much more slight. Definitely one to watch for.


Great review. I like thriller and this one sounds interesting. You really got me in this line> What they find is horrific--everyone is dead, killed with a pickaxe and covered in straw or left in their beds.
I hope I can find it here in my country


Novroz--Thank you! This is a very quick read, but she still creates a shocking portrait of a small village where you would never imagine such a thing happening. This was published in the UK, so hopefully you'll be able to find a copy as well--I have a feeling (though I may be wrong?) that you might have more access to UK/European books than US books?


Unfortunately,it is easier to find US books than UK books in my country (same with movies and everything else) :(


Novroz--Interesting. Not that there aren't plenty of good books from the US (I hope anyway), but it's nice having access to UK/European titles, too! Have you used The Book Depository? They offer worldwide free shipping and for a while I was quite addicted to them (that's probably where I got my copy of this book). Still, it's nice being able to find books in local stores (which I also have a problem doing, too).

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