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The Ice Queen    by Nele Neuhaus order for
Ice Queen
by Nele Neuhaus
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Nele Neuhaus writes an outstanding German police procedural series starring detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein. They are now being published in North America - Snow White Must Die and Bad Wolf preceded this one.

I was a little confused at first as The Ice Queen is actually a prequel to Snow White Must Die. But once that was sorted in my mind (Oliver is still with his wife Cosima and Pia is not yet living with Christoph), I thoroughly enjoyed this new thriller. It begins with execution style killings of the elderly. The first, ninety-two year old Jossi Goldberg, is a U.S. citizen, a long time White House advisor, and a Holocaust survivor. But why does he have an SS tattoo on his arm? He claimed to be a Jew and had married a Jewish woman, but what was he really?

Further victims, who also prove to have previously unsuspected Nazi connections, turn out to be friends from childhood of the well respected Baroness Vera Kaltensee. This woman, whose reputation is irreproachable, is respected for her philanthropic efforts, but rules her family with an iron fist. Soon there is pressure from on high to stop further investigation into the Goldberg case. So Pia turns to an old friend, Miriam, who works for an institute studying the effect of the Holocaust, for background research. When new evidence suggests that Vera Kaltensee's stepson committed the murders, she is dubious.

Gradually, Pia and Oliver match together the scattered puzzle pieces. The picture of past events that emerges is horrific and the identity of the killer is unexpected. Events build to a violent climax, which Pia and others barely survive. The Ice Queen is a totally engrossing story. If you haven't found this series yet, you're missing some great reads.

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