Read of the Week

To Catch A Killer

Nele Neuhaus


Review: Brian Joss

A highly trained sniper is on the loose in the Frankfurt area, giving the Kripos team of Oliver von Bodenstein and Chief Inspector Detective Pia Kirchoff a major headache, and this just before she is about to go on her Christmas vacation with Christoph, her new husband.

At first it seems that it is the work of a serial killer but then it emerges that the five victims have a common thread, and it is up to the team to stop him before he strikes again.

It’s easier said than done because he leaves no clues, except for the occasional indentation in the snow where he has lain in wait for his next victim.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Frankfurt have decided to remain indoors and even the malls are devoid of last-minute Christmas shoppers. The team also gets two new members, one unasked for, Andreas Neff, a profiler, who becomes more of a hindrance than a help, and Pia’s sister, Kim, a forensic psychiatrist and expert witness.

The body count piles up and the Kripos team are no closer to finding the sniper.

Each lead leads to a dead end and there are numerous red herrings that distract the team.

However, with a lot of digging and dogged detective work, the team finds the link: Kirsten Stadler, who 10 years earlier, died after an aneurysm and was taken to a prestigious clinic involved in organ transplantation. It won’t be a spoiler to say that the doctors and professors “behaved like vultures” to use her organs for transplants.

Apart from the murders of the people on the periphery of the transplants, there is bribery and corruption, back-stabbing and heartbreak. The breakthrough comes when the daughter of one of the victims, who has been investigating her mother’s death and her father’s involvement, gives Kripos a diary.

And the race is on to find the sniper before he kills again.

It is a tense page-turner that will keep you guessing, and awake until the small hours, trying to identify the killer and the real reason why the medical team behaved so badly.

Neuhaus is one of Germany’s top thriller writers and more than four million copies of her books are in print.

When you read to Catch A Killer, you’ll understand why she is so highly regarded.