In 1922, an entire family was murdered on their farm in Bavaria. This still-unsolved crime is the inspiration for German author Schenkel’s 2006 novel Tannod, which is seeing its first U.S. publication now under a new title. Similarities to Capote’s In Cold Blood are obvious: a rural setting, a murdered family, a novelistic approach to true events. But this is a much slimmer book than Capote’s, and structurally it’s quite different. Schenkel uses shifting points of view, first-person reminiscences (many years after the murders) of people who knew the ill-fated Danner family, intertwined with third-person narrative chronicling the events leading up to the crime. What’s especially interesting is the author’s approach to the subject: if you read between the lines of the statements made by people who knew the Danner family—sometimes not between the lines at all—you see that they weren’t especially liked in their community. Nobody really wants to talk about them, at least not for very long, and if they don’t quite believe the Danners deserved to die, it’s clear they don’t mind very much that they did. A chilling novel. --David Pitt
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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 Murder Farm - Times Literary Supplement The Murder Farm lingers on in the memory like an old tune, long after you've turned the final page - Sunday Tribune A chilling little debut number... short, nasty and effective - Daily Mail A fascinating, refreshingly short and laudably ambitious mystery' reviewingtheevidence website.
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