Review: Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (December 24, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1250039770
  • Source: Publisher

Eleven years ago, then twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius was convicted of killing two seventeen-year-old girls based on circumstantial evidence alone and sentenced to ten years in prison.  After his release, Tobias returns to his home in a small village.  His family home is in shambles; his prison sentence served not only as punishment to Tobias but his parents, now divorced, as well.

Meanwhile, detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are called to investigate a mysterious traffic accident. A woman fell from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving below her. The woman is identified as Rita Cramer, mother of Tobias Sartorius.  Is Tobias’ release somehow connected to Rita’s accident? As Pia and Bodenstein take their investigation to the small village, they are hit with silence. Everyone refuses to identify the man responsible for her “fall” although it is obvious that they recognize him.  When another girl goes missing, the past comes flooding back to this small, secretive town.  The villagers know a lot more about what has happened than they are admitting to the police. Rather than involving the authorities, they attempt to take matters into their own hands and seek vengeance not only for the current disappearance, but for the crimes committed a decade ago.

Snow White Must Die was one of the many books released last year that I didn’t have the opportunity to read and review…until now.  The wait was well worth it, for Snow White Must Die is a deeply atmospheric thriller set in a small town riddled of decades-old secrets.  Initially, the numerous sub-plots were distracting, but once it was made apparent how they are all interconnected, I was amazed at how brilliantly Neuhaus was able to pull it all together! I’m being intentionally vague about these subplots because their revelation, and execution, are key to the flow of the storyline.

Readers learn a great deal about the characters of Kirchhoff and von Bodenstein, both professionally and personally. I appreciated learning about their personal lives, allowing me to understand their motives and behaviors on a completely different scale.

Other reviewers have commented about the length and “bulk” of this novel.  Rather than releasing a second book with this character and history-building information, Neuhaus included it in the first book of the series, allowing readers to flow right into the next book. Speaking of next book, Bad Wolf was just released yesterday, allowing readers new to the series instant gratification with the first two books! Bad Wolf is up next on my reading stack; I can’t wait to once again immerse myself in the rich, atmospheric world Neuhaus has created. Highly, highly recommended.

6 thoughts on “Review: Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus

  1. I read this last year but didn’t realize there was a “next book” planned. I’ll have to look out for that – thanks for the heads up!




  2. I really enjoyed SNOW WHITE MUST DIE. I’m a little confused about the decision to publish it first in the US, though. It’s actually the fourth in this series. As of when I read it there were seven in the series as a whole. I’m really looking forward to BAD WOLF but would definitely love the chance to read the others as well.


    1. Really!? You are such a wealth of knowledge, Becky! Now looking back on it, I can sort of see it. I would love to read the others as well!



Comments are closed.