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By: Andrea Maria Schenkel
Published by: Quercus
Author’s Website: http://www.andrea-schenkel.de/
Author’s Social: Twitter | Facebook
Format of Review Copy: ecopy
Recommendable for people who enjoy: Mystery/Thriller
Synopsis (from Amazon):
The Times Literary Supplement said of The Murder Farm, “With only a limited number of ways in which violent death can be investigated, crime writers have to use considerable ingenuity to bring anything fresh to the genre. Andrea Maria Schenkel has done it in her first novel.” The first author to achieve a consecutive win of the German Crime Prize, Schenkel has won first place for both The Murder Farm and Ice Cold. The Murder Farm begins with a shock: a whole family has been murdered with a pickaxe. They were old Danner the farmer, an overbearing patriarch; his put-upon devoutly religious wife; and their daughter Barbara Spangler, whose husband Vincenz left her after fathering her daughter little Marianne. She also had a son, two-year-old Josef, the result of her affair with local farmer Georg Hauer after his wife’s death from cancer. Hauer himself claimed paternity. Also murdered was the Danners’ maidservant, Marie. An unconventional detective story, The Murder Farm is an exciting blend of eyewitness account, third-person narrative, pious diatribes, and incomplete case file that will keep readers guessing. When we leave the narrator, not even he knows the truth, and only the reader is able to reach the shattering conclusion.
Bunny’s review of The Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel
The Murder Farm is a fictionalized account(s) of a real unsolved Bavarian murder. This book is told from multiple POVs, all retelling their accounts of the events leading up to and including the brutal murder of an entire family.
The story is set on a farm in the 1950s. With the recent flux of fiction featuring Amish, the descriptions of the people and rural settings in this story had me thinking it was an Amish community, rather than the German farm it actually was. The farm was large, isolated, and hand worked by “help” and family. The real crime was never solved.
The family consisted of an abusive over bearing father, an over religious mother, an angry daughter, a toddler, and their house and farm hands. All of which are brutally murdered with a pick ax.
The reader is led through this crime by multiple interviews of neighbors of the family as we try to find out “who did it”.
This book was just ok for me. The bouncing POV kept me from connecting to any one character. I would have preferred it to have been just a straight story. It was not scary, but was an excellent mystery. It is sad the original murders were never solved. I say pick it up if you like “true crime” or murder mystery thrillers.
Be warned this book does contain: incest, violence, poor treatment of women, and racism.
This book is a German Award Winner. Was also made into a German film in 2009