Well, I had finished reading this book quite some time ago, while it was still 2018, so here it is the last book I read in the year 2018 and the first book I’m going to review in 2019.
A girl’s body lies, posed, on the pale sand of a Hamburg beach, a message concealed in her hand. ‘I have been underground, and now it is time for me to return home…’
Jan Fabel, of the Hamburg Murder Squad, struggles to interpret the twisted imagery of a dark and brutal mind. Four days later, a man and a woman are found deep in woodland, their throats slashed deep and wide, the name ‘Hansel’ and ‘Gretel’, in the same tiny, obsessively neat writing, rolled tight and pressed into their hands.
As it becomes clear that each new crime is a grisly reference to folk stories collected almost two hundred years ago by the Brothers Grimm, the hunt is on for a serial killer who is exploring our darkest, most fundamental fears. A predator who kills and then disappears into the shadows.
A monster we all learned to fear in childhood.
As a person who enjoys thrillers, the blurb was something I couldn’t ignore. It kind of pulled me towards the book and there was not a shadow of disappointment. The cover added to the story line – the red cloth reminding me of Red Riding Hood and the thorns were symbolic of the woods in nearly every tale of Grimm Brothers.
As a novel, it not just told one story but opened my mind to so many unknown facts of the Grimm Brothers. It kept me guessing till a long time and each time a character was under the microscope, the author very smoothly removed him off the list.
The murders were committed grossly. But the way they were connected to the fairy tales – Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and Changelings – it keeps the reader in awe as to how much brutality was part of the folklore. It also makes one ponder, are monsters non-human creatures or are they humans who have become monsters? And the baffling moment, it scares you that anyone around you could just be the monster disguised in the sweetest manner.
The most surprising twist was the coincidence of the murders and the writer who has recently published his book on Grimm Brothers. This plot makes the story go on various unexpected tracks. Is the author part of the murders? Is he one of the two Grimm Brothers reincarnated? Is he involved in all these murders?
Craig Russell is an author I had often heard of when we talk of thrillers. I think I made the right choice to pick this one to read first of this author. If you know any other good book, do drop a message in the comments and let me know.
What are you all doing this year? How’s the reading and writing part going on? I’ll be talking more on those things in the next post, hopefully coming up sooner.
Lots of love and best wishes.
Keep smiling. Keep reading. Keep writing my bloggerworld mates!