A book review blog. Updated sporadically as my reading record of late has been abysmal.
All reviews are written by me and are my personal views only. Comments welcome.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Review: ICE COLD - Andrea Maria Schenkel
Andrea Maria Schenkel's first novel, THE MURDER FARM won considerable acclaim for its clever orginality. While it's not exactly factual, it's not entirely fiction either. Rather it's the fictionalised story of a real case cleverly interwoven with witness statements taken at the time of the murder.
Schenkel's second novel ICE COLD does something very similar with the rape/murders of a number of young women in Munich just months before the outbreak of World War II.
The main focus of the book is Kathie. A young country girl who comes to Munich wanting to get away from the restrictions of her life with her family. She discovers getting a job is harder than she thought and finds herself in a somewhat sleazy world of late night bars, casual sex and occasional prostitution.
Kathie's story is the thread that ties the narrative together. In between learning Kathie's story is a series of witness statements taken from people who knew or had contact with other young woman who were murdered at the same time as Kathie is making her way in Munich.
Somehow the format that worked so well in "The Murder Farm" doesn't seem to have quite the same impact in ICE COLD. Whether it's because of the story of that the novelty of the unusual format isn't as fresh, I'm not sure.
Perhaps it was the blurb on the book jacket which asked the question, "but is he really guilty?" It is a question that maybe leads to false expections about the ending. I found myself none the wiser at the end of the book than I did when I first opened it. It could be more the fault of the publicists and powers that be who decide what goes on the blurbs, than the writer's. Whatever the reason I was left feeling quite unsatisifed by the ending of ICE COLD which wasn't present in "The Murder Farm".