Opens with a chapter of such sustained scintillation and engulfing sense of mystery that no one who starts reading it is likely to stop… Terribly sad in its outlines, consistently boggling in its detail as it uncovers, step by step, the desolations of an unhappy marriage. It seems some kind of allegory of German life when the reign of the Gestapo is replaced by the reign of the Stasi.
In December 2011, a corpse was found in a forest in Ludwigsfelde, a small and peaceful town south of Berlin. The body was hidden between pine trees, covered with leaves. The victim was Brigitte Scholl, sixty-seven, cosmetician and wife of Ludwigsfelde’s former mayor Heinrich Scholl. There were rumours that Brigitte was raped and killed by a serial killer. While the police hunted for the murderer, parents kept their children indoors, and joggers avoided the forest. Three weeks later, the police arrested the victim’s husband.