Heidi Perks – The Whispers

Heidi Perks – The Whispers

When Grace returns to her British hometown of Clearwater after two decades in Australia, she hopes to renew the friendship with Anna. As kids and teenagers, the two had been close as sisters, due to her poor family situation, Anna more or less grew up with Grace’s family until they decided to move to the other side of the planet. However, Anna does not seem happy at all about Grace’s return, she has established a small circle of good friends and is reluctant of letting her former best friend join their group of four. After one evening at the local pub, Anna does not come home but neither her friends nor her husband seem to be really concerned so Grace takes over responsibility: she informs the police and starts to ask questions. Why do all people in the small sea-side town behave strangely? It has always been her to be in charge and to take care of the small and big catastrophes, so not much seems to have changed. But on her own, will she be able to find Anna and to uncover why all people are telling lies?

Heidi Perks wonderfully portrays life in a small town. Everybody knows everybody and is keen on spreading rumours, especially if there is something cheesy or malicious to share. As soon as Grace turns up for the first time at the schoolyard to bring her daughter to her new school, “The Whispers” among the mothers start and cannot be silenced anymore. Quite authentically, we hold as true the things we can observe and the bits and pieces of information we get and make sense of the story – and thus fall into the author’s trap since not much is really what it seems at first.

Admittedly, even though Grace as the protagonist is portrayed as a sympathetic woman, I did not really like her as she was, in my opinion, a bit creepy from the beginning. A lot of people live in the past and want to repeat it, therefore, returning to the place where she had a good time is not too strange, yet, the fact that she does not want to accept that Anna does not want to bond with her anymore and that she does not even make the slightest effort to find other friends, I found quite weird and obtrusive.

After Anna gets missing, the other characters indeed do behave inexplicably, yet, it does not take too long until the author reveals the other side of the story. As an experienced crime novel reader, you tend to be cautious and hesitant from the start when you are only presented with one character’s point of view, this is why I did not find it too surprising that not all things are what they seem at first. However, what I totally adored was how Heidi Perks managed to portray especially the small town women and their gossiping and how they make an effort of polishing their own lives to appear as someone superior to the others.

An entertaining read with some unexpected twists which brilliantly captures small town life.

Marc Elsberg – Der Fall des Präsidenten

Marc Elsberg – Der Fall des Präsidenten

Kaum ist er aus dem Flieger gestiegen, wird der ehemalige US Präsident Douglas Turner in Athen verhaftet. Der Internationale Gerichtshof hat Anklage erhoben und einen Haftbefehl ausgestellt, der durch die lokalen Behörden ausgeführt werden muss. Dana Marin ist als Vertreterin des ICC vor Ort, um den Vorgang zu überwachen, gerät aber auf das Bildmaterial, das heimlich angefertigt wird und sich sogleich online verbreitet. Damit beginnt dann auch das Kräftemessen: auf der einen Seite der ICC, der die Gerechtigkeit auf seiner Seite hat, jedoch über wenig Macht verfügt, lediglich auf die öffentliche Meinung hoffen kann. Gegenüber steht die mächtigste Nation der Welt, die sogleich die ganze Maschinerie anwirft, nicht nur um das ehemalige Oberhaupt schnell aus griechischer Haft zu befreien, sondern auch um im aktuellen Wahlkampf nicht das Gesicht zu verlieren. Gerade das Land, das für Freiheit und den Kampf gegen den Terrorismus steht, soll nun dafür angeklagt werden?

Marc Elsberg hat sich in den vergangenen Jahren einen Namen mit spannenden Thrillern gemacht, die insbesondere dadurch herausstechen, dass er aktuelle Themen für seine Szenarien wählt. Sei es die prekäre Stromversorgung im Notfall in „Blackout“ oder auch Gentechnik in „Helix“ – immer treibt er das Gedankenspiel bis an die aushaltbare Grenze. In „Der Fall des Präsidenten“ wirft er nun die ethisch-moralische Frage auf, wie viel den Ländern Recht und Gerechtigkeit wert sind und wie in Zeiten von Deep Fakes und Fake News die öffentliche Meinung beeinflusst und Wahrheit immer perfekter gefälscht werden kann.

Die eigentliche Handlung an der Oberfläche umfasst nur wenige Tage, in denen wiederholt das Gericht tagt, das über die Rechtmäßigkeit des ICC Haftbefehls und der damit verbundenen Auslieferung an Den Haag entscheiden soll. Spannend wird die Angelegenheit durch die Nebenschauplätze, an denen ganz verschiedene Aspekte eskalieren. Die Amerikaner nutzen ihre Vormachtstellung und drohen sogleich mit wirtschaftlichen Sanktionen, erlassen Einreisebeschränkungen und positionieren sich im Streit zwischen Griechen und Türken, um so den Druck auf das Land zu erhöhen. Von der Unabhängigkeit eines Gerichts kann kaum mehr die Rede sein, wenn eine ganze Nation in Sippenhaft genommen wird.

In der Sachfrage steht natürlich die komplexe Problematik im Fokus inwieweit ein Präsident für die Taten der Armee und einzelner Soldaten in Kriegen verantwortlich ist. An Kollateralschäden bei der Zivilbevölkerung hat man sich leider gewöhnt, der vorgebliche Zweck scheint sehr viele Mittel zu rechtfertigen, insbesondere seit 9/11. Einzig der Internationale Gerichtshof könnte hier Anklage wegen Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit erheben, aber er wirkt wie ein zahnloser Tiger und zahlreiche Ausnahmen und die Nicht-Anerkennung durch Länder wie die USA lassen vernünftige Arbeit kaum zu.

Die noch junge und wenig erfahrene Vertreterin des ICC erfährt die volle Härte der eigentlich juristischen Auseinandersetzung auf ganz anderer Ebene: sofort tauchen Bilder von ihr online auf, die in tendenziöse Zusammenhänge gepackt werden, andere werden direkt skrupellos gefälscht, um so die Öffentlichkeit zu täuschen und Meinungsmache zu betreiben. Verschwörungstheoretiker und verquere Denker lassen sich zudem ungehemmt mit ihren Theorien aus.

Ins Rollen bringt alles ein Whistleblower, der seiner Intuition folgte und sich nun größter Gefahr ausgesetzt sieht. Man weiß, wie insbesondere die USA mit in ihren Augen Vaterlandsverrätern umgeht. Schützen kann ihn kaum wer in dieser Situation, denn bei dem mächtigen Gegner ist sich jeder selbst am nächsten.

Auch wenn das Ende vielleicht durch die plötzliche Action etwas zu dick aufgetragen ist, ein spannender Thriller, dem es gelingt, die Komplexität des Konflikts und der Wirklichkeit unterhaltsam abzubilden.

Ein herzlicher Dank für das Rezensionsexemplar geht an den Blanvalet Verlag sowie das Bloggerportal. Mehr Informationen zu Autor und Titel finden sich auf der Verlagsseite.

Petra Johann – Die Frau vom Strand

Petra Johann – Die Frau vom Strand

Nach einer Fehlgeburt wollten Rebecca und Lucy sich zurückziehen und sind vom turbulenten Hamburg in der Ostseedorf Rerik gezogen. Offenbar tat die Seeluft gut, denn Rebecca wird sogleich wieder schwanger. Jedoch auch Monate nach der Geburt von Töchterchen Greta möchte sie nicht wieder zurück, sehr zum Leidwesen von Lucy, die zwischen ihrer Agentur und dem gemeinsamen Heim pendelt. Obwohl es nur wenige junge Menschen im Ort gibt, fühlt sich Lucy nicht einsam; als sie die gleichaltrige Julia kennenlernt, freut sie sich aber dennoch endlich eine Freundin gefunden zu haben, die beiden Frauen liegen sofort auf einer Wellenlänge. Aber dann verschwindet Julia plötzlich und es scheint, als wäre sie nie dagewesen, sie hat keinerlei Spuren hinterlassen. Unerwartet findet Rebecca allerdings eine Verbindung, die ihr Leben durcheinanderwirbelt und Lucy das Leben kostet.

Mit gleich zwei Mysterien wird man als Leser in Petra Johanns Thriller konfrontiert: wer ist die sympathische Frau, die aus dem Nichts auftaucht und ebenso schnell wieder verschwindet? Und natürlich: wer hätte ein Interesse am Mord von Lucy gehabt? Die allseits beliebte und immer auf Ausgleich bedachte Frau hatte scheinbar keinerlei Feinde und der Tod einer jungen Mutter erscheint völlig unsinnig. Das Ermittlungsteam sieht sich zahlreichen Fragezeichen gegenüber, die sich nur langsam auflösen.

Der Roman lebt vor allem von den Figuren, die wenig durchschaubar sind. Viele lernt man zunächst auch nur durch andere vermittelt kennen, Lucys Tod schon zu Beginn lässt sie nur noch in der Erinnerung ihrer Kollegen und Freunde aufleben – ein Bild das notwendigerweise Lücken aufweist. Auch Rebecca ist zunächst verschwunden, was an sich schon seltsam erscheint und sie verdächtig macht – dies passt wiederum so gar nicht zu dem Eindruck der liebenden Mutter, die sich in dem kleinen Ort und weitgehend isoliert dennoch wohlfühlt. Zuletzt natürlich die unbekannte Frau, die sich als Julia vorstellt, zu der aber außer Rebecca kaum jemand etwas berichten kann. Wo sie herkam, wer sie eigentlich ist und weshalb sie scheinbar gezielt zu Rebecca Kontakt gesucht hat – Fragen über Fragen.

Für mich kein nervenzerreißender Thriller, aber durchaus ein spannender Krimi, der den Leser lange auf die Folter spannt.

Graham Moore – The Holdout

Graham Moore – The Holdout

A reunion they have never really wanted since all of them only wanted to forget what happened ten years ago. When lawyer Maya Seale is first approached by Rick, she refuses, but her boss convinces her to take part. They were the jury on the most popular case of the time: 15-year-old Jessica had vanished and was supposedly murdered by her teacher Bobby Nock with whom she obviously had had an affair. Even though the body had never been found, the whole country was convinced that the black man had killed the daughter of a rich Californian real estate mogul. However, the jurors followed Maya’s arguing in finding Bobby not guilty. It took Rick, one of the jurors, a decade of his life to investigate privately and now, he has come up with new evidence he wants his co-jurors and the whole world to see. They return to the hotel where they were kept away from the public for months, but then, Rick is found dead – in Maya’s room. All is just too obvious: the one person who is responsible for the killer of a young girl running free now wants to protect herself by keeping the evidence secret. Thus, consequently, Maya is arrested.

The reader follows Maya Seale in her quest to prove her innocence. You know from the beginning that she is not a reckless killer and that she’s got nothing to hide, but much more interestingly than this already answered question is the one about the legal system: Maya’s chances of being acquitted from murder rise tremendously if she pleads guilty of manslaughter – there does not seem to be a chance of just telling the truth and it simply being acknowledged. So the interesting question actually is: how does the truth have to be framed, or to put it more explicitly: manipulated, to get the result you want?

Graham Moore’s “The Holdout” is a real page-turner. Once you have started, you cannot simply put the novel aside. It is fascinating to see how the law works, to follow the arguing of the lawyers and their weighing the different versions of truth. I also liked how the author created a jury of very peculiar individuals who all have their small secrets they want to hide. Yet, ultimately, they all come out, some with more, others with less consequences. The big mystery looming over the whole story is who killed Jessica Silver and why. This is very cleverly solved but also challenges the reader’s moral value system. At the end of the day, life is complicated and, at times, you have to weigh different perspectives against each other and you may come to the conclusion that one version of truth might be better than another.

A gripping legal thriller full of suspense and a lot of food for thought.

Carissa Ann Lynch – Whisper Island

Carissa Ann Lynch – Whisper Island

Riley, Sammy, Mia and Scarlett are art students at Monroe and working on projects together when one day, Sammy suggests a trip to Whisper Island, Alaska, where they could spend their holidays for free and profit from its remoteness and special surroundings for their artwork. Even though the others are not too keen on spending summer in the cold north, they agree and see it as an adventure. When they are on their way, Sammy announces that her brother Rob would join them, not just does she thus destroy the girls trip, but especially Mia is angry, her best friend should know that after their breakup, the wounds that Rob had caused never really healed. When they finally arrive, it is not just Rob but also his new girlfriend Opal awaiting them in a run-down house. But not only their lodging is a disappointment, also their boat to travel to the next town is out of order and then their whole trip turns into a nightmare when they realise that they are obviously not alone on the island since a murderer is on the loose killing one after the other.

Carissa Ann Lynch has chosen a classic locked-room setting which strongly reminded me of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”. Even though the students are not total strangers, they evidently know much less from each other than they thought before their departure. The story is narrated alternatingly from the points of view of the characters thus providing insight in their hidden thoughts and offering the reader, on the hand, clues to what could be behind all this murdering but, on the other hand, also a lot of red herrings which keeps suspense high.

The present events on the island are surely the main focus of the plot, however, the girls’ past, the things they hide from the others – and astonishingly, each of them has quite a story to offer – are much more interesting to unravel. Sammy soon hints at the fact that she did not suggest the trip out of the blue but actually had a good reason to vanish from Memphis and so had her brother. Mia seems to have been in a scandal a couple of years ago which she hopes the others have never heard of but of which the anniversary is close and threatening to make the others a see side of her she prefers to keep hidden. Scarlett struggles with drug abuse and hopes to get sober in the weeks on the island. Riley is new to the group and she is also the one who is quite closed up not giving away too much form herself and her family, so, what does she have to hide?

I liked the atmosphere on the hardly welcoming island which immediately gives you the creeps and fits perfectly to the plot. Speculating about why the six might have been chosen as targets was great fun and finally was revealed and explained. An entertaining and fast-paced mystery following a classic structure.

Courtney Summers – The Project

Courtney Summer – The Project

Lo Denham has lost her parents in a car accident in which she herself was also seriously injured and which marked her with a scar for life. Her sister Bea, six years her senior, is the last bit of family she has, but she has not been able to contact her for months. It must be The Unity Project’s fault, the sect Bea joined when she couldn’t make sense of the loss she experienced anymore. When a man claims that The Unity Project killed his son, Lo decides to take a closer look and to get nearer to the charismatic leader Lev Warren with the aim to expose the group’s doings in the magazine she works for. However, Lo is not prepared for the experiences she makes there.

Courtney Summers narrates the story from different points of view at different points in time, thus we get both sisters’ perspective on the highly emotional events in their lives. This also creates a lot of suspense since from the beginning, there are gaps which need to be filled to make sense. It also underlines the different characters of Lo and Bea which, nevertheless, does not hinder them from being fascinated by the same man.

The crucial point is most definitely the psychological impact a major tragic event such as the loss of the parents can have on young persons. Coming to grips with such a stroke of fate which does not make sense and is hard to understand is not only very hard but also makes people fragile and prone to others who are eager to exploit their situation. The leader of the group is surely an interesting character, it is easy to see how he manages to win people for his project and how he can make them follow him blindly. In this way, the novel also cleverly portrays the mechanism which work behind sects and which make it difficult to immediately see through them and more importantly to leave them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel due to the multifaceted characters and the message beyond the suspenseful and entertaining plot.

Sergei Lebedev – Untraceable

Sergei Lebedev – Untraceable

For many years, Kalitin has lived alone on the hill, in the house at the end of the road, isolated from his neighbours. He kept for himself, guarded the secrets of his former life, knowing that one day, they would catch up with him. Now, with the cancer in his body, there is not much time left anyway. His enemies are already on their way, two men, the ordinary set-up, to find and kill him. Agents who turn into angels of death because Kalitin not only knows too much, but because he was the man to develop Neophyte, a highly lethal substance which leaves no trace when applied, perfect to get rid of obnoxious people who know too much or who have fled the secure boundaries of their former home country. Such a behaviour against the code of honour is something Shershnev cannot accept. He has always been hard, hard against himself, hard against his son, hard against everybody. Two men who after a long life in the service of a country which does not exist anymore, have to fight their last battle.

“Kalitin knew that his inventions did not simply create specific weapons of death poured into ampoules. He also produced fear.”

Sergei Lebedev’s novel tells the story of two men who have seen everything in life and for whom life and death have been just states which a person can be in but nothing spiritual. Now, close to the end of their lives, they not only look back but also start to question what they have seen and done. “Untraceable” also tells the story of a lethal weapon we have heard of in the news more than once in the last couple of years. The time of shooting double agents, dissidents, whistle blowers and the like are gone, the strategies and means have become much more sophisticated, but one thing has remained the same: the human factor.

“In that world, most people did not yet see the dark side of science, its evil twin.”

For Kalitin, science, the discoveries and expansion of his knowledge about how nature works have always been paramount. However, he has come to understand that the leaders of the URRS for whom he worked had a different understanding and that, first and foremost, the individual scientist wasn’t worth much. He was only an obedient soldier on duty for the state. Surely, they gave him the opportunity to work in his lab, but at the end of his life, he also sees the price this came with and he can see the bigger picture. He wasn’t interested in politics, he has always seen himself just as a scientist, but eventually, he has to acknowledge that it isn’t so simple and that he cannot put the blame only on the others.

Shershnev, too, ruminates about his life which he has fully dedicated to the long gone state. He is one of the last still on duty who have lived in the USSR and who still, after all those decades, adheres to the old values. He has to admit having made mistakes. Big mistakes which haunt him now. Yet, he follows the assigned mission stubbornly, too weak to make a courageous decision himself.

The beginning was a bit slow, I didn’t get the connection between the different characters and chapter immediately. However, as soon as the main conflict was laid out, the novel was not only suspenseful but also morally challenging since it raises the big issue of science and the responsibility of the scientists. Additionally, it is no question that the former USSR was a rogue regime, yet, no system is flawless and to what extent each civil servant, soldier or simple citizen complies with given values and rules has to be answered individually.

A thrilling political thriller which also offers a lot of food for thought.

Rosalie Knecht – Who Is Vera Kelly?

Rosalie Knecht – Who is Vera Kelly?

After a turbulent youth, the break-up with her mom, some time in a detention centre and no plan what to do with her life, Vera ends up in New York, trying this job and that job. One day, she is addressed by a man who noticed her quick wits and technical understanding. He is a recruiter for the CIA and thus, a couple of years later, Vera finds herself in Buenos Aires with the fake ID of a Canadian student named Anne. Her mission: spy on a group of students who the CIA believes to work for the KGB in order to ally Argentina with the Soviet Union. Vera/Anne makes befriends Ramón and Victoria who have radicalised and are disappointed by how the country is governed. Yet, then suddenly, the military ventures a coup d’état and General Onganía’s men take over. Vera/Anne is stuck, foreigners are not allowed to travel anymore, her local contact betrayed her and she gets the runaround by her superior within the CIA. Either she acts for herself, or she is lost.

“Who Is Vera Kelly?” is not an easy to classify novel. It is a kind of bildungsroman, we get to know young Vera who protests against her mother and school and has to grow up the hard way. A young woman who is looking for her place in life and oscillates between different options without a clear aim. On the other hand, the novel is a political or spy crime novel since we have Vera/Anne prying on rebellious students to uncover any KGB involvement in Argentina and also the time after the Revolución which brings the military dictatorship and severe restrictions for the people.

At both times of her life, Vera is lonely, her affection for her school friend is not returned and also when she arrives in New York does she not find a person to really bond with. This qualifies for a lone spy job abroad where she is left to her own devices and cannot really build deep friendships. The experiences she made as a teenager, especially with her mother who kicked her out into the detention centre and did not show any interest in her, gave her quite a good education for her mission.

Vera is not a classic heroine, she is no James Bond and does not compare to any other dazzling movie character. She is actually the perfect spy, she blends in smoothly, goes unnoticed and her technical skills allow her even without any sophisticated equipment to get the information she needs. When she finds herself deserted of all contacts and help, she is close to breaking down but then shows her real strength. She just goes on and finds a solution to escape.

A perfect blend of a young woman who is far ahead of her time in terms of emancipation and going her own way and a world in political turmoil. The plot becomes increasingly suspenseful and thus is a real page-turner.

Anna-Lou Weatherley – The Woman Inside

Anna-Lou Weatherley – The Woman Inside

Shortly after her fiancé left her, Daisey gets drunk during a professional event. The same evening, she is attacked in her flat but unexpectedly can survive. Yet, he has no memory at all of what happened and of who her assailant might be. She is not the first, London is haunted by a clever man that much some DNA finding can confirm, more is not known. A complicated case for Detective Dan Riley and a lot of time pressure since they are sure that Daisey is not the last. But then, things seem to fall into place, all evidence hints at Daisey’s ex Luke who behaves highly suspiciously, too. Dan remains sceptical, he is sure that there is much more behind the coward murders, however, who might have a reason to direct police’s attention towards Luke? Can the forensic psychologist whom Dan is forced to consult shed new light on what the investigators have found?

I totally adored Anna-Lou Weatherley’s novel “The Stranger’s Wife” and her latest thriller did not disappoint me, either. It is not just the classic play of who is quicker and cleverer – the police or the murderer – it is the psychological profile of the wanted person which is extremely interesting and cleverly drafted to make it a really exceptional thriller.

Daisey is hit twice, first, her fiancé leaves her for a younger woman, then, she is attacked and seriously injured. Additionally, she cannot pay the expensive flat alone, this is why a new colleague moves in with her. She isn’t alone anymore, but her mental state is unstable. She seems to hear voices or people moving around in the flat, mixes up what her new flatmate tells her and she has some flashbacks which bring back fragments of the evening in question. She is really not doing fine and quite palpably, the horror isn’t over for her even though many friends and the police take care of her.

The narration is interrupted time and again by a second line of the plot which is set about two decades in the past and tells the story of twins who are quite close but also mysteriously witness some serious misadventures. It is obvious from the start that this part gives insight in the murderer’s childhood and provides the reason for his strange behaviour. However, you cannot link this narration to any of the characters of the present.

A mysterious plot which remains blurry for a long time but does not lose its suspense. A superb read which I enjoyed from the first to the last page.

David Jackson – Der Bewohner

David Jackson – Der Bewohner

Nachdem er – wieder einmal – brutal gemordet hat, ist Thomas Brogan auf der Flucht vor der Polizei. Ein unmögliches Unterfangen in dem kleinen Wohngebiet. Doch dann findet er ein offenbar verlassenes Haus, in dem er sich verstecken kann. Bei seinem Erkundungsgang entdeckt er, dass die Dachböden der Nachbarhäuser zugänglich sind und so kann er die alte Elsie besuchen, aber auch Pam und Jack und natürlich Martyn und Colette. Diese fasziniert ihn besonders und er sucht sie sogleich als neue Spielgefährtin aus. Denn Brogan tötet nicht einfach, ein gibt seinen Opfern eine ehrliche Chance. Doch zunächst einmal muss er sich um Nahrung kümmern und die neuen Nachbarn beobachten. Bald schon kann das Spiel aber beginnen, wenn auch nicht ganz so wie er und die Stimme in seinem Kopf das geplant hatten.

Eine gruselige Vorstellung hat David Jackson in seinem Thriller umgesetzt: ein heimlicher Mitbewohner, der in die Häuser schleicht, wenn keiner Zuhause ist, sich an den Lebensmitteln bedient, die Dusche benutzt und in Schulbladen rumschnüffelt. Er hinterlässt keine Spuren, manchmal ein ungutes Gefühl, aber lange Zeit bleibt er unentdeckt. Es ist zunächst ein einseitiges Katz-und-Maus-Spiel, doch unerwartet zeigen sich auch andere Seiten des Killers, die das Bild eines kaltblütigen Mörders differenzierter zeichnen.

Bisweilen hat der Thriller auch humorvolle Passagen, wenn Brogan droht entdeckt zu werden und auf der überhasteten Flucht in sein Versteck auf so manches Hindernis trifft. Ganz anders gestalten sich seine Besuche bei Elsie, die schwerhörige Dame überrascht ihn eines Nachts und glaubt ihr verstorbener Sohn sei zurückgekehrt. Fortan bekocht sie den Mörder und erweicht sogar sein Herz. Zum ersten Mal erfährt dieser Zuneigung, was er nicht einfach beenden kann und will. Bei Colette gestaltet sich der Fall anders, er findet sie attraktiv, aber da ist noch ein anderer Reiz, den er nicht einordnen kann, der ihn jedoch immer wieder zu der jungen Frau zieht. In seinen Entscheidungen ist er jedoch nicht frei, die Stimme in seinem Kopf, treuer Begleiter, der ihm stets Gesellschaft leistet, ist es, die die Entscheidungen trifft.

Ein Psychothriller, der seinen Namen verdient hat. Als Leser fühlt man sich sogleich unwohl bei der Vorstellung, dass jemand unbemerkt im eigenen Haus umherschleichen könnte, aber ebenso interessant ist diese Stimme, die eine traurige Ursache hat und Brogan letztlich genauso zum Opfer werden lässt. Gänsehaut und Unbehagen beim Lesen und ein unerwartetes Ende – eindeutige Leseempfehlung.