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Extended Audio Sample Snow White Must Die, by Nele Neuhaus Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,448 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nele Neuhaus Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Bodenstein & Kirchhoff Series Release Date:
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Snow White Must Die is a psychological thriller combined with a crime mystery. In the book, Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are detectives investigating a strange traffic accident. A woman, Rita Cramer, was pushed from a bridge onto the car of a passing motorist below. Cramer is from a small village outside Frankfurt, Germany, and the detectives find a bigger mystery once they arrive in her hometown.

Cramer's son Tobias Sartorius has just returned to town after serving a prison sentence for the disappearance and murder of two teenage girls eleven years before. Bodenstein and Kirchhoff, along with the rest of the town, suspect he's the guilty party when another young woman turns up missing. Tobias, however, doesn't remember the first murders and claims to be uninvolved in his mother's accident and the newest disappearance.

The residents of the town know more than they are willing to admit to outsiders Bodenstein and Kirchhoff, however, and this hampers the investigation. Small town people have small town minds, at least in this case. Working without the support of the townspeople, the two detectives find unexpected connections between the new cases and the murders more than a decade before.

Author Nele Neuhaus is well-known in her native Germany for her Bodenstein and Kirchhoff series of psychological thrillers about the male and female detective team. Snow White Must Die is the fourth of six books Neuhaus has written about the pair, but it is the first to be translated into English. It is already an international best seller. The translation was done by Steven T. Murray.

On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. 

On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace. In a trial based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius, Rita Cramer’s son, was sentenced to ten years in prison. Bodenstein and Kirchhoff discover that Tobias, after serving his sentence, has now returned to his home town. Did the attack on his mother have something to do with his return? In the village, Pia and Oliver encounter a wall of silence. When another young girl disappears, the events of the past seem to be repeating themselves in a disastrous manner. The investigation turns into a race against time, because for the villagers it is soon clear who the perpetrator is—and this time they are determined to take matters into their own hands.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Exciting and well crafted…[Neuhaus] show[s] how the police’s off-duty preoccupations complicate and distract them from work and even jeopardize their safety.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This novel is bursting with conspiracy and subterfuge and a raw exposition of the ugliness that can inhabit the human soul.”

    USA Today

  • “Neuhaus has a flair for the ominous and the ornate. Her primary setting…Altenhain is the anti-Christie town: Instead of quaintness, it offers decay; instead of Miss Marple, there’s a spiteful populace of voyeurs whose curiosity stokes the smoldering embers of violence.”

    Washington Post

  • “The story is dense, the plot riveting and the deduction letter-perfect…full of mystery and hidden secrets, silence and cover-ups.

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “An engrossing plot and that could make Neuhaus a contender for the kind of acclaim Stieg Larsson has won. Snow White Must Die moves at a brisk clip with a narrative that ranks as storytelling at its best.”

    San Jose Mercury News

  • Snow White Must Die…does an excellent job of exploring small-town venality as Kirchoff begins to suspect that it takes a village to cover up a murder. There are no magic mirrors or dwarves, but there are enough poisonous secrets lying fallow to take care of an entire apple orchard.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “With an entire town to populate and eleven years of history to explore, Nele Neuhaus had a monumental task ahead of her, one she tackled with impressive craft and style. Snow White Must Die is one mystery wrapped in a dozen others, startlingly capturing the long memory and insular nature of small towns everywhere.”

    San Francisco Book Review

  • “[An] impressive multidimensional police procedural.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[It will] keep readers turning the pages up to the unpredictable ending…An addictively engaging mystery filled with suspects, confusion, love, and fear. Sure to intrigue and satisfy mystery fans, especially those who love international crime procedurals.”

    Library Journal

  • “Narrator Robert Fass shepherds the book along, differentiating characters with accents and shifts in tone. His narration helps the listener to follow the plot and keep track of the different characters as their involvement in the story unfolds…Fass’ skill provides the perfect delivery.”


  • Selected for the January 2013 Indie Next List
  • A 2014 International Thriller Writers Award Nominee
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for January 2013

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Margot | 2/19/2014

    " This novel was chock full of so many interesting characters that led us on so many twists and turns in trying to find out who was really responsible for the murder of two girls 11 years ago, that Tobias Santorius was convicted of doing and served a decade of his life in prison for. Once Tobias is released and returns to the small German village where it happened, Pandoras Box is opened and all hell breaks loose. Great read and an absolute page-turner! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Christie | 2/18/2014

    " Pretty good at keeping me guessing till almost the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Daniela | 1/26/2014

    " Super Buch. Wirklich spannend bis zum Schluss. Sehr empfehlenswert. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Marybeth Taranow | 1/26/2014

    " I wanted to like this book. It was not a page turner. It felt like it moved incredibly slow. There were also to many little side stories that bogged things down. "

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