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First, I missed out on this book when it was first released because Audible mistakenly has it in the SciFi/Fantasy category. It is a mystery. There are NO supernatural elements in this story at all. It does have some feel of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, but it is NOT SciFi or Fantasy. This novel is actually difficult to categorize because it is equal parts charming and chilling, but since it involves solving the mystery of missing children in the town, Mystery is the most appropriate category.
I have over 400 audiobooks, and this book easily makes my top 5. Although the main character Pia is young, this is not a children’s novel; however, older children not easily frightened might enjoy it. It has a strong element of mystery and suspense with the missing girls, but that is not necessarily the most significant aspect of the book. While the setting of the book is modern, the village of Bad Münstereifel has a definite touch of the Grimm brothers’ Germany, giving the entire story a bit of the feel of a fairy tale. Adding to this setting are the stories told to Pia by her neighbor. Each of these tales of Unshakable Hans would make a nice story on its own. The background for all of the more unusual occurrences is the story of Pia’s family. Seeing the whole story through Pia's eyes puts the finishing touch on this story.
Adding to this wonderful novel is the narration by Justine Eyre. I almost bought this book in paper, but thought this would be a particularly nice book to have read to me. I am so glad that I made that call. Eyre’s narration is absolutely flawless. Each character is distinct, and her unique voice is perfectly fitted to this book.
If you only get one audiobook this year, I’d recommend The Vanishing of Katherina Linden. If you’re out of credits, I recommend this as a cash-worthy purchase.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Although, one can guess the bad guy about halfway through, the author keeps many details to himself as the story progresses. The way in which the murders were carried out, the clues that were obvious, but that just didn't fit, and most glaringly: the why of it, are some of those details that kept me listening. While someone is listening to an audiobook, they are often doing something else at the same time. As such a person, I almost missed the last line that the old man says as he leaves the main characters house in the end. It gave me shivers. I thought I was so clever for figuring out who the killer was early on. I should have known from the very beginning!
This book is excellently written, cleverly plotted, richly peopled with detailed characters and just twisted enough to keep you slightly confused, but not frustrated.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful