Purchased on a whim because the octolet had a fit of pique at Barnes and Noble before I could sort through my pile of books I was interested in before checkout, and I’m weak willed around remaindered books. Plus, apparently I never learn my lessons about cover blurbs, and really wanted another Gillian Flynn/Paula Hawkins type book.
I know Gillian Flynn. Gillian Flynn is a close personal friend of mine. (No, not really.) And you, ma’am, are no Gillian Flynn.
This book was written flat as a pancake, which I hope for the author’s sake is a language issue. The book is set in Germany and everyone is “frau” or “herr,” but I could find no evidence of a translator.
Maybe English isn’t Raabe’s first language, but to describe the plot is to basically figure it out, and that’s no fault of diction, so spoiler alert I guess. Our recluse author sees the man who killed her saintly -or was she?- sister twelve years ago and seeks to entrap him by writing a thinly veiled accounting of the crime. Each “twist” was so ridiculous or predictable that it essentially doesn’t matter who is cat or mouse in this game; we all lose.
The conclusion is all wish fulfillment, and our hero gets a romance despite having no discernable personality with the detective who apparently is still pining for her 12 years later for some reason. The road block is a trope that I cannot wait to never see again – beautiful woman opens door, is cold to our hero, but wait! She’s not my girlfriend, she’s my sister! Nope. No one here has any nuance, it’s all black hats, white hats, and misunderstandings. Pass.