The German village of Altenhain is the setting for this dark, disturbing mystery. Miss Marple definitely does not live there. Tobias Sartorious has served his time for the murder of two young women and has returned to the village. The decay and despair awaiting are shocking and infuriating to him. Despite his doubts about committing the murders (he was drunk at the time and blacked out) he’s not totally sure of his guilt or innocence. The inhabitants of the village all shun him as they did his family – causing their restaurant to fail and his parents’ marriage to break up. A waitress, a newcomer in town, becomes his only friend. Her Goth looks remind Tobias of one of the murdered girls, nicknamed “Snow White.”
Trying to live quietly and restore his father’s broken-down house and yard, Tobias has flashbacks and still drinks too much too often. Then the waitress disappears and her cell phone is found in his pocket – and he was drunk. Snow White Must Die is a story of guilt and innocence, sin and redemption, and power gone very awry. It’s not easy reading, but it’s rewarding to complete.
p.s. I don’t know why I keep returning to these dark stories set in contemporary, insular, small German towns, but if you like this, check out author Helen Grant as well.