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Bad Wolf: A Novel (Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein Book 6) [Kindle Edition]

Nele Neuhaus , Steven T. Murray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

She looked at herself in the mirror, touched her fingertips to the little red hood on her head, and laughed. The dress was a real dirndl, with a short skirt and apron. Papa had plaited her hair into two braids, and she really looked exactly like Little Red Riding Hood in her fairy-tale book.

He always brought presents--it was a secret that she and Papa shared, because he never brought anything for the others. Only for her. She was his favorite.

The door opened, and she uttered a frightened cry when she saw the wolf. But then she had to laugh. It wasn't a real wolf after all; it was only Papa, who had put on a costume. How lovely it was that she was the only one to share this secret with Papa. Too bad she could never remember anything afterward.

On a hot June day, the body of a sixteen-year-old girl washes up on a riverbank outside of Frankfurt. She has been brutally murdered and shows signs of long-term abuse, 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 television host is attacked, raped, and locked in the trunk of her own car. She survives, barely, and is able to supply only vague hints to the police, having to do with her recent investigations into an organization whose members are from the highest echelons of society, and the potential uncovering of a shocking history they'd prefer to keep from the public eye.

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. It is almost too late for a person very close to Pia before she and Oliver finally track down the big bad wolf. . . . In Nele Neuhaus's second U.S. publication of her enormously popular series, tensions run high both inside and outside police headquarters, and a complex and unpredictable plot propels her characters forward at breakneck speed.

Editorial Reviews


"The second of Nele Neuhaus's absorbing and intricately constructed German police procedurals to be published in English translation, takes place in 2010, over a century after the exposure of the anti-Dreyfus conspiracy. But the web of vile deeds that Bad Wolf uncovers, involving the sexual abuse of children at all levels of society, gives that shameful historical cabal a contemporary fictional rival...The pavement-pounding pays off for the reader, as well as for the cops, in an action-filled finale rife with dramatic revelations."—Wall Street Journal

"Neuhaus’s sequel to Snow White Must Die demonstrates the author’s maturing skills...this nuanced effort suggests why the author is a bestseller in her native Germany."—Publishers Weekly

"...this thriller works! Fans of Jo Nesbö’s gritty thrillers will enjoy the intricacies of the plot."—Library Journal

"Some of the most quietly vicious moments in the book, interestingly enough, are between Hanna and her daughter, an angry young woman who seemingly delights in pushing Hanna's buttons in her most sensitive emotional areas. Another is the verbal sword-crossing between Behnke and Kirchhoff, which alone is worth the price of admission. Still, the murder of the unfortunate, unidentified girl forms the core of BAD WOLF. However, there is much that radiates out from this central issue and then dovetails back to the conclusion, which will leave you gaping in surprise and quiet horror...[T]he resolution, in which everyone does not live happily ever after, will haunt you long after the final page is read and the book rests uneasily on your bookshelf, waiting to be read again."—Bookreporter

"This is no fairy tale, but it is a satisfying thriller."—Shelfawareness



About the Author

NELE NEUHAUS is one of Germany's most widely read crime authors, thanks to her thrillers featuring the investigative duo of Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirchhoff, which were recently launched in English with Snow White Must Die. A longtime resident of the Taunus Mountains, her novels have been translated into twelve languages.

Product Details

  • File Size: 812 KB
  • Print Length: 413 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250043999
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (January 21, 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,167 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “Anyone who ventures into danger will die from it.” January 21, 2014
Marrying police procedural and a favorite Grimm’s fairy tale is a winning combination for a writer who extracts both crime and terror from that combination. What begins with the discovery of a girl’s dead body on a river bank in Frankfurt evolves, with the addition of another heinous crime, into a masterful examination of the evil that lurks in men’s hearts and the difficulty of linking the wealthy and powerful to their actions. The Holfheim murder unit in Kripo begins the investigation into the girl’s murder, Detective Superintendants Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein frustrated by their inability to identify the victim even after an appeal to the public. In an apparently unrelated event, a popular TV host is kidnapped, brutally beaten and left for dead. Hanna Herzmann survives, but the harrowing memories of her ordeal fail to surface after the attack.

With the skill of a master puppeteer, the author manipulates characters and actions in a macabre dance, the potential for criminal activity on a far larger scale than the death of an unidentifiable girl or an isolated kidnapping lurking like a monster hiding under the bed. Besides the concentrated investigation that will eventually lead the detectives to the answers they seek, Neuhaus fleshes out the procedural nature of the novel with the personal aspects of Kirchhoff and von Bodenstein’s lives, the quality of their relationships complementing the others driving the plot, from the conscienceless perpetrators to a victim, the self-involved TV host, Hanna Herzmann, who will go to any lengths for a good story, her acerbic, critical daughter, or a state attorney who makes the murder case his highest priority. Each character, seemingly unrelated, becomes a part of a developing picture.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
What sharp teeth has BAD WOLF, the sixth book in the Pia Kirchhoff/Oliver von Bodenstein series and the second to be translated (with the wonderfully sturdy efforts of Steven T. Murray) in the United States. Kirchhoff and von Bodenstein are police detectives operating in Germany’s Taunus Mountain region north of Frankfurt, the perfect setting for a series that gives a subtle nod to the horror stories of old that we refer to as “fairy tales.”

Wolves abound in BAD WOLF. We meet one almost immediately, in the disturbing, unsettling prologue, set in a trailer park where a food cart vendor who has experienced a vague but very real fall from financial grace lives in near squalor and demonstrates what is, at the least, an extremely unhealthy interest in one of his young neighbors. He is but one of many carnivores in the forest.

Kirchhoff herself is confronted with another in the early goings by Frank Behnke, a one-time co-worker (“colleague” is perhaps too strong and inappropriate a word) who almost inexplicably has returned to the force and is in a position to potentially do Kirchhoff professional, and possibly personal, harm. Of course, where one has pursuers, one also has the pursued, and among the most heartrending is the unidentified 16-year-old girl whose body is recovered from a river. Nicknamed “The Mermaid” by the police, no one comes forward to claim or identify the young woman, whose body shows signs of horrific abuse.

Then there is a television host --- popular with her audience, somewhat less so with her colleagues and the press, the latter of which has nicknamed her “Hanna Heartless” --- whose investigation into another matter earns her an up-close-and-personal entrapment in her car trunk, from which she barely escapes with her life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Good Read February 20, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I ordered BAD WOLF on a whim, because of the title. (As a Doctor Who fan, how could I not?) I am really glad that I did. BAD WOLF, by Nele Neuhaus is an enticing psychological thriller that drive you crazy, but it is definitely worth it in the end.

BAD WOLF begins with a variety (a significant variety) of disjointed story threads, seemingly unrelated to each other. The myriad of plot lines and characters is initially quite confusing and frustrating. You know in your gut that these are all going to come together, but hints of how are few and far between. But that is what keep you reading.

BAD WOLF is written in a unique style, jumping for story thread to story tread and aback again, but at a more leisurely pace than that to which I am accustom. There are likeable characters and detestable ones, but you might not be right in guessing which is which. I enjoyed BAD WOLF and was interested to the end, but I would not call it a page turner. I did not feel compelled to stay up all night reading.

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, then BAD WOLF is a great choice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was the first book I've read by this author, and is the second one to be released in English. Part of a popular series, this is actually apparently the 6th book featuring Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein as German police detectives who work near the Taunus Mountain region north of Frankfurt.

The body of a young girl turns up in a local river and evidence indicates a history of long term physical and sexual abuse. No one has reported her missing, and the first step in this police procedural is to identify the victim. In alternating points of view, other plot lines are developed that indicate there is more to this body dump than first thought. The investigation becomes even more complex when the star of a popular local TV show, Hannah Herzmann, is brutally attacked just when she was about to produce an expose of monumental proportions that involved a woman with multiple personality disorder who had been treated by Hannah's own therapist. It seems that some very powerful people might be running a child pornography ring and they will do anything to keep their secrets.

I could not put this book down and found many surprises along the way while reading this unpredictable thriller. I loved the setting and the characters -- I feel I must be missing something by reading out of order in the series, but this was very satisfactory as a stand alone. I highly recommend it and will definitely be reading Snow White Must Die by Neuhaus. Nele ( 2013 ) Paperback shortly as well as the soon-to-be released English translation of The Ice Queen: A Novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love reading books by foreign authors
I love reading books by foreign authors. You learn a great deal about another culture while you're figuring out who done it.
Published 1 month ago by barry donahue
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid all arounder
Another quality entry in series, featuring a detective who is NOT an alcoholic, depressed, or has other serious social interaction problems for a change ha ha. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Martin Mulcahey
2.0 out of 5 stars WOULD NOT RECOMMEND
I am not quite done with the book because I find it is a very slow read. The book is all over the place with characters it is hard to follow. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kathryne
5.0 out of 5 stars Spell binding
A real page-turner. Very well-thought-out plots and character development. The book is filled with intrigue and suspense.
Published 1 month ago by Deborah Leenutaphong
4.0 out of 5 stars Some book
This is a very good book about how depraved some people can be. She still had a convoluted blog. This book is not for the faint hearted.
Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Too many characters involved in the plot that drags on chapter after chapter
Published 4 months ago by Omnivorous Reader B. Ruhnow
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Disjointed To Me
I like a great detective/mystery, and I like Germany, so this seemed like a good fit. I find this book to have a good plot, but to my reading it jumps around a lot, making it a bit... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Green
4.0 out of 5 stars All the better to see you with, my dear
Bad Wolf takes the Grimm's fairy tale of Red Riding Hood and interweaves it into a police investigation. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Epilady
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark, Complex, Well Written Thriller
The story opens with the discovery of a young girl's body on the river bank. After some investigation, though well written, the novel pretty much bogs down. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ken T.
4.0 out of 5 stars Subject matter is very dark
It was a well written book but I have a hard time being entertained by stories that involve sexual abuse of children. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ulalume Viva Jones
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More About the Author

Nele Neuhaus is one of Germany's most widely read crime authors, thanks to her thrillers featuring the investigative duo of Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirschoff, which were recently launched in English with Snow White Must Die. A longtime resident of the Taunus Mountains, her novels have been translated into twelve languages. To learn more about her, visit

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