Todesurteil (Death Sentence)


Austrian Crime Novel

I visited Vienna fairly recently and just had to check out local crime novels written in German. I found Todesurteil by Austrian Andreas Gruber. A long, long time ago I worked as an au-pair in Austria and learned German (with a Vienna accent), but I have not used it in years, so it was a bit rusty, which is why it took me a while to finish the novel. Unfortunately the novel does not seem to be available in English, but my recommendation is to read crime novels in their original language, especially if you are travelling in the country in question since you may even recognize some places.

Maarten S. Sneijders

Todesurteil is the second novel about Maarten S. Sneijder. He is a Dutch profiler working as a teacher at the Police Academy in Wiesbaden. Maarten is a high-performer and great at his job, but a jerk as a private person. Sabine Nemez is the sidekick. She is a young, nosy, impulsive, stubborn student. We also get to follow prosecutor Melanie Dietz. She is working on a case in Vienna where someone is kidnapping and killing young girls.

Exciting High-Speed Police Thriller

In summary the novel is an exciting high-speed police thriller. It is entertaining with a fast tempo. I like the characters even though you can find similar characters in many crime novels – middle aged workaholic with a complicated private life and a fiery young woman. That is why I appreciate that the author has added Melanie Dietz who adds some softness and maturity. Her therapy dog is a bonus. The plot is nicely tied together, but there is one twist too many at the end.

Other Crime Novels from Vienna

If you want to read other crime novels from Austria I can recommend Spuren des Bösen by Martin Ambrosch. The novels have been adapted to TV. They are about the psychiatrist and interrogation specialist Dr Richard Broch, who helps the police in Vienna with some cases. Broch is similar to Maarten S. Sneijders in many ways.


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