bad wolf

Title: Bad Wolf (Bodenstein & Kirchhoff #6)

Author: Nele Neuhaus

Translator: Steven T. Murray

Read by: Robert Faas

Category: Mystery

Audio published: January 21, 2014 by Blackstone Audio

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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On a hot June day the body of a sixteen-year-old girl washes up on a river bank outside of Frankfurt. She has been brutally murdered, but no one comes forward with any information as to her identity. Even weeks later, the local police have not been able to find out who she is. Then a new case comes in: A popular TV reporter is attacked, raped, and locked in the trunk of her own car. She survives, barely, and is able to supply certain hints to the police, having to do with her recent investigations into a child welfare organization and the potential uncovering of a child pornography ring with members from the highest echelon of society. As the two cases collide, Inspectors Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein dig deep into the past and underneath the veneer of bourgeois society to come up against a terrible secret that is about to impact their personal lives as well.

I’m having trouble deciding what to say about Bad Wolf. I looked back at my comments on “Little Red Riding Hood” and Perrault’s moral struck me. “I say ‘wolf,’ but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.” The wolves in Bad Wolf are that kind, preying on children while maintaining a respectable façade. These wolves have power and money and are well-connected, and very definitely dangerous.

I didn’t find this one as gripping as the first I listened to, Snow White Must Die. Part of the problem, I think, is that they’re being translated out of order. We have two so far, but in the actual series, they are #4 and #6, so we miss a lot of the character building. Granted, each book is has a self-contained mystery, but Pia and Bodenstine’s personal lives are touched on, and Pia’s home life plays a major part toward the end of Bad Wolf. I never felt connected to them though. Also, the I found the major plot points on the predictable side. There were no real surprises – alright maybe one, but it was more of an “I can’t believe people can be that awful.”

It’s a decent police procedural, but not outstanding. The subject matter, abuse of children,  may be too tough for some people although those particular crimes are not described in any kind of detail. The violence against adult women, however, is rather graphic and horrifying.

Robert Faas read the previous one in the series I listened to also. I like listening to foreign mysteries; I like the way places and names sound. Faas as a reader does a good job. He adds to the story and doesn’t get in the way. The characters were easy to differentiate for the most part, even though there are a lot of them.  There are several different story lines at the beginning, each with its own set of characters, and it takes a while for them to all pull together.

I guess the question is, should you go out and pick it up? Maybe. It didn’t live up to my expectations, but I wasn’t horribly disappointed either.

Bodenstein & Kirchhoff series

  1. Eine unbeliebte Frau [An Unpopular Woman]
  2. Mordsfreunde [Murder Friends]
  3. Tiefe Wunden [Deep Wounds]
  4. Snow White Must Die
  5. Wer Wind sät [Those Who Sow the Wind]
  6. Bad Wolf