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
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
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
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.