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Ice Cold    by Andrea Maria Schenkel order for
Ice Cold
by Andrea Maria Schenkel
Order:  USA  Can
Mobius, 2015 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Ice Cold, a mystery by German writer Andrea Maria Schenkel (translated by Anthea Bell), comes highly recommended by her home country. Her first novel, The Murder Farm, was a true sleeper. Having trouble getting it published, she finally submitted it to a small publishing house where it was accepted and a small printing was published.

The book set the mystery field on fire and she became an instant success. It has become required reading for German high school students and is used as a tool to train detectives. The Murder Farm was published in 2006, winning any number of writing prizes. Schenkel's second book, Ice Cold, while a slim volume, has earned the same sort of praise.

It is late 1930s Munich, 'the first year of fascism and the last before the war.' Kathie wants to escape her small, safe village and make her way to Munich to start a new life. She is a pretty German girl from a small town the same type that has been disappearing from Munich and its environs. Those that disappeared have later been found abused and murdered.

A man by the name of Joseph Kalteis has been arrested for the crimes. Could there be some doubt that this Kalteis is not, in truth, the monster who has been terrifying Munich? Has the wrong man been executed?

Kathie puts herself in harm's way by her lifestyle doing what she must to survive even occasional prostitution. Though only a hundred and forty pages, Ice Cold packs a punch.

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