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Wednesday, 2 March 2022

‘Night Hunters’ by Oliver Bottini.

Translated by Jamie Bulloch. 
Published by MacLeHose Press,
30 September 2021.
ISBN:  978-1-52940-915-4

This book is the fourth in the Black Forest Investigations featuring Louise Boni, a DCI with the Freiburg police.  The location, near the Black Forest and close to the French border, provides a beautiful background for some ugly crimes.  DCI Boni has been asked to look into the disappearance of Nadine, a student who has been reported missing by her worried and wealthy father.  Then Eddie, a lonely 15-year old boy from a very different background, disappears the day after Nadine, and is found dead.  Though there is no evidence to support her view, DCI Boni feels that the cases are linked. 

Boni has overcome alcohol problems, and seems to have started a new chapter in her life, with a flat, a car, and a new relationship.  However, she has problems with flashbacks to earlier events, and is also concerned about a colleague who has recently returned to work after 18 months’ sick leave.  But though dogged by her reputation for going it alone, and continuing to frustrate her bosses, she continues to rely on her insight, intuition and intelligence an reaches a shocking solution.

This is a story which starts with a dreadful crime and proceeds to use solid police work to unravel the strands, keeping up the tension and letting the reader see things from Boni’s viewpoint.  It is the fourth in the Black Forest Investigations series and does, inevitably, have references to past events, but this does not undermine the overall quality of the story, with its the deft plotting and final fraught ending.

Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
Other books by this author:  Zen and the Art of Murder, A Summer of Murder, The Dance of Death

Oliver Bottini was born in 1965. Four of his novels, including Zen and the Art of Murder and A Summer of Murder of the Black Forest Investigations have been awarded the Deutscher Krimipreis, Germany’s most prestigious award for crime writing. In addition, his novels have been awarded the Stuttgarter Krimipreis and the Berliner Krimipreis. He lives in Berlin.

Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society. 

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