This is an atmospheric and gripping novel from an exciting new voice for fans of The Snow Child and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.
South-West Germany, 1926. The disappearance of a baby girl calls for Constable Theodore Hildebrandt and his son Klaus to visit the remote village of Hindelheim, a place where nothing ever happens.
But the news of the missing baby has brought darkness to the community.
It is as if someone or something wicked is playing a game.
As the wind blows and the mist thickens, tensions rise amongst the villagers as everyone falls under suspicion. And when the rumours begin and secrets start to unravel, the quiet village of Hindelheim is set to change for ever.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 06/03/2014
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099558972
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Review by passion4reading
It sounded all so promising: a missing child, a remote community in 1920s Germany, a police constable asking uncomfortable questions; so where did it all go wrong? While the author might be good at describing the rural setting, her characterisation unfortunately leaves much to be desired: nothing relating to the characters is subtle, including the character of Elias Frankel, the 'token Jew', who conforms to just about every possible stereotype there is. I couldn't identify with any of the characters, and most of them are irritating and annoying. About one-third through the book the author gives away the identity of the villain, followed shortly after by the motive, thereby eliminating what little tension there was. The rest is drawn out and filled with an unnecessary, unconvincing and distracting love story. I persevered to the end, hoping to get at least a satisfactory explanation for the book's title, but was disappointed. The emergence of fascist ideas, so central to the novel, felt like an add-on and did not convince me, and I believe the author thought it was necessary to spell everything out for her readership, so that they were in no doubt that here were antisemitism and the beginnings of the Nazi propaganda machine; to me, that's sledgehammer characterisation. Disappointing.