Bad Wolf : Bodenstein & Kirchhoff

  • by Nele Neuhaus
  • Narrated by Robert Fass
  • Series: Bodenstein & Kirchhoff
  • 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The thrilling next book in the internationally best-selling series that began with Snow White Must Die
On a hot June day the body of a 16-year-old girl washes up on a river bank outside of Frankfurt. She has been brutally murdered, but no one comes forward with any information as to her identity. Even weeks later, the local police have not been able to identify her. Then a new case comes in: a popular television reporter is attacked, raped, and locked in the trunk of her own car. She survives - barely - and is able to supply certain hints to the police having to do with her recent investigations into a child welfare organization and the potential uncovering of a child pornography ring with members from the highest echelon of society.
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. In Nele Neuhaus' second US publication of her enormously popular series, tensions run high, and a complex and unpredictable plot propels her characters forward at breakneck speed.

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What the Critics Say

"Neuhaus’s sequel to Snow White Must Die demonstrates the author’s maturing skills...this nuanced effort suggests why the author is a bestseller in her native Germany." (Publishers Weekly)
"[T]his thriller works! Fans of Jo Nesbö’s gritty thrillers will enjoy the intricacies of the plot." (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Grim Tale

The Atlantic ocean seems to have gotten a little smaller since the success of Larsson's Dragon Tattoo series. Foreign modern crime thrillers have gained momentum, the translations giving us access to authors like Nesbo, Vargas, Lemaitre, Indridason, Mankell, et al. When Nele Neuhaus' Snow White Must Die appeared in book stores I had high hopes, largely based on high praise and a catchy title (I'm not chic enough to claim, *I simply adore European novels*) . . . turned out to be more a tumble to the ground than an all out splatt. Regrettably, not enough of a nose-dive to keep me from reaching out again to this German author.

This is gritty, brutal, and for the hard-gutted. (Sounds fun, no?) Subject matter aside (I dealt with much worse cases of abuse in my profession, and am sadly too familiar with the subject), the book was tough for me to get through because of a disconnect that went beyond a language barrier. Authors that have previously tackled such heinous topics successfully have wisely layered a foundation for contained depravity as the story evolves, a kind of etiology that establishes a psychological contract between the author and reader. I now understand the importance of that structure, that 'leash to incredulity' and shock -- without that understanding, this kind of crime, especially dealing with children, lacks the human dimension and becomes perverse sensationalism. The best authors in this genre are able to make atrocities as palatable as possible because of talent/great writing. Neuhaus delivers a raw story that moves along at a good clip, but she lacks the ability to make it palatable.

Fans of connect-the-dots police procedurals (German style CSI: Special Victims Unit) -- a headline grabbing shock-crime, the interaction between the detectives as they work through the mystery, the big blow-out ending -- should be entertained and won't regret the purchase. [Before my review turns you away from this choice, you might want to look over member's positive reviews on Snow White Must Die.] For my tastes, based on this book and SWMD, Nelehaus is certainly twisted, but dwells too much in the realm of preconceptions, clichés and debauched cabals instead of being twistedly original and absorbing. There is no explosive upset to the *people aren't always whom they seem* plotting; the characters are likeable enough, but as compelling as Zweiback toast; and the big explosive secrets more a pop than a bang -- all reasons I subtract stars. Perhaps something is lost in the translation. It was zippity, but no doo-dah, but that's another tale. As far as Neuhaus' grim versions of fairy tales to come...I'll live happily ever after without another.

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- Mel

A Cast Of Thousands... Each one speaking!

Buy this and get ready to take notes.

I don't listen to a 17 hour reading - without stopping. Do you? When I read a book, I can pencil in its challengingly large cast on the back of the rear cover.Or I can page backward to refresh myself re. the identity of a seemingly minor character who has a recurrent speaking part. Those are not options to a listener to an Audible book where memory storage is impeded by interruptions as the commuter arrives at work or home or as the chores end and book readings are suspended until the next visit, perhaps a day or days later.

Nele Neuhaus probably wrote "Bad Wolfe" from an outline which was easily referred to as new writing sessions began. I lack that sort of crib notes, hence the VERY large cast of people both who contribute with dialogue and others who contribute through reference to their roles in this plot become a memory-test challenge. Frankly I don't listen to this sort of fiction as if it is some sort of recall-muscle-gymnasiums.

So, while I listened to the end in order to revel in the bad folks getting their comeuppance... I sort of wish I'd never started this book at all. Besides, there were annoying minor plot inconsistencies... Well... I won't buy the next in this series, which may really be chapter two to this entire book.

Robert Fass struggled to give voices to all of these people... and generally failed. Not his fault though, just asking too much of a reader.
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- Ted

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-21-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.