The Collini Case, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Ferdinand von Schirach's "The Collini Case" has been at the top of the German charts since publication and will be loved by all fans of Bernhard Schlink and John le Carre.

A murder. A murderer. No motive. For thirty-four years Fabrizio Collini has worked diligently for Mercedes Benz.

He is a quiet and respectable person until the day he visits one of Berlin's most luxurious hotels and kills an innocent man.

Young attorney Caspar Leinen takes the case. Getting Collini a not-guilty verdict would make his name.

But too late he discovers that Collini's victim - an industrialist of some renown - is known to him.

Now Leinen is caught in a professional and personal dilemma.

Collini admits the murder but won't say why he did it, forcing Leinen to defend a man who won't put up a defence. And worse, a close friend and relation of the victim insists that he give up the case.

His reputation, his career and this friendship are all at risk.

Then he makes a discovery that goes way beyond his own petty concerns and exposes a terrible and deadly truth at the heart of German justice..."The Collini Case" is a masterful court room drama that will have readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. "A magnificent storyteller". ("Der Spiegel"). "A murder trial full of political explosiveness: thrilling, clever, staggering". ("Focus"). "Terrific". ("Elle"). "Ferdinand von Schirach brilliantly draws you under his spell". ("Bunte"). Ferdinand von Schirach was born in Munich in 1964. Today he works as one of Germany's most prominent defence lawyers in Berlin.

His short story collections "Crime and Guilt" became instant bestsellers in Germany and are translated in over thirty territories.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780718159207



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

An elegant novella, written with great economy (it's a three-hour, single sitting read) yet with vivid description and characters with depth. The premise is a newly-qualified lawyer seeking to defend the undefendable; but that's not what the book is about. It's about the law, its formation and its consequences. Actually, the work is a polemic cleverly disguised as a crime thriller - which, as the appendix shows, achieved the author's goals in the real world. Highly recommended.

Review by

Well written court room drama in which skeletons in the cupboard emerge.