Darkness seeps through the pages of this gritty, thrilling mystery, and in this unflinching first entry in the series, Hartung introduces a protagonist to rival Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole. After years on the job working every kind of case imaginable, Detective Pohl knows something is wrong. A young woman has disappeared, but with no sign of a crime. She left a letter for her parents, asking them not to look for her. It’s too clean. His suspicions are confirmed when he discovers a link to another woman who disappeared, leaving a similar letter behind before dying in a freak accident. But that’s not all that connects them: the women look almost identical.
Once it becomes clear that Pohl can trust no one, not even within his own police department, the mystery of what happened to these victims is impossible to resist. Like Pohl, I had to know why someone would cause such destruction, but I was stunned to see how far the debris could reach. In Hartung’s gripping conclusion, I finally realized how deep these shards can cut—and how some wounds, although shallow, bleed the longest.
- Jack Butler, Editor