Title: Eine unbeliebte Frau
Author: Nele Neuhaus
Publisher: Ullstein Buchverlage
Read: February 25 - 27, 2013
Eine Ladung Schrot aus dem eigenen Jagdgewehr beschert dem Frankfurter Oberstaatsanwalt ein schnelles, wenn auch sehr hässliches Ende. Die schöne junge Frau, die tot am Fuß eines Aussichtsturms im Taunus liegt, ist viel zu unversehrt, um an den Folgen eines Sturzes gestorben zu sein. Kriminalhauptkommissar Oliver von Bodenstein und seine neue Kollegin Pia Kirchhoff sind sich einig: Der erste Todesfall war ein Selbstmord, der zweite jedoch ein Mord. Bald häufen sich sowohl die Motive als auch die Verdächtigen. Doch was hat den Staatsanwalt in den Tod getrieben?
I finally managed to track down an ebook version of Nele Neuhaus’ Eine unbeliebte Frau which was available in Australia and worked on my kindle! After reading (and loving) the fourth and fifth books in the series, I decided it was time to go back to see where it all began ….
Eine unbliebte Frau (an unloved woman) is the first in the Kirchhoff and von Bodenstein series and takes us right back to where Pia and Oliver first team up to solve a case together. Called to the apparent suicide of a young beautiful woman, the pair’s suspicion of foul play is soon confirmed. However, when trying to track down the woman’s murderer, the detective duo find out that dozens of people had a good motive of killing the victim – in fact, they can only find a couple of people who have anything good to say about her.
In typical Nele Neuhaus style, the case doesn’t remain a simple matter of solving a murder, but opens up into a complex conspiracy with a lot of sub-plots and secondary characters who are all somehow involved in the events leading up to the killing. Although there are a lot of characters and events to keep track of, the style works for me, building intrigue and keeping me interested to find out more.
With Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein, Neuhaus has created a charismatic and likeable detective duo who are still going strong in the later books in the series. By giving her characters everyday problems, flaws and insecurities, the reader can relate to them as we catch small glimpses of their private lives and backgrounds. And yet these two people are not as flawed as many other protagonists in popular thriller series – their lives are almost ordinary, with family, friends, pets to take care of, cars to repair and housework to be done. And all of that in the setting of an ordinary town, where evil and crime can still simmer under the surface. Very refreshing!
I really enjoyed going back to the origins of this exciting new detective duo and now look forward to reading the next instalment in the series.