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Summary

Two missing children. Only Pohl can save the third.

Two young children have been violently abducted in broad daylight, with nothing connecting them but their disappearance. Detective Nik Pohl knows there must be a missing link, but every time he gets close to the answer people show up hurt, or worse....

The kidnappings must be connected. Could it be the recent property scandal that one young girl’s father is embroiled in, or something even bigger? Desperate to find the children and fearing there may be more victims, Pohl throws himself into the world of Munich’s grimy organised crime scene.

Drug lords, money launderers, and criminals stand in the way of the truth, but Pohl knows his way around, and he’s determined not to let another child disappear on his watch. Can he make the connection and identify the final target - and stop the killer - before it’s too late?

©2019 Alexander Hartung (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2019 by Fiona Beaton.

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Just awful.

I bought all four books by the author which are available in English from Audible. My first mistake. I read the first in the Nik Pohl series and thought things could only get better. My second mistake. Here the main character is barely recognisable from how he was described in the first book in which he was a cop but working 'off the books'. Now he is a private detective, but still using his police ID to get him access to things. As has become something of a cliché he has the ubiquitous 'quirky' sidekick, normally only one step above a 'cutsie' pet. However here the gay and extremely camp pathologist sidekick has a parrot, so worst of both worlds. If it begins to sound rather like a cartoon. It is. The third member of what is an unholy trinity is a computer hacker with seemingly limitless funds, and the equivalent of a Bat Utility Belt when it comes to having just the right piece of equipment for every occasion. The book would really be described as a Scooby Doo comic if it wasn't for the distasteful plot of children being taken hostage, but with the characters described even the menace normally inherent in that scenario couldn't be taken seriously. By the end I didn't care whodunnit or why. Oh for the man alone P.I. approach of Raymond Chandler's Marlowe.

In print quirky characters can be read as you see fit. In audio it gives readers, who style themselves as performers rather than narrators, free rein to ham it up for all they are worth, and Mr. Ciulia certainly wasn't going to let the chance pass him by. Terrible reading.

The translation seems to have been done in British English. The German terms come out as C.I.D., Premier League, and mobile (rather than cell) phone. It rather jarred to have an American narrator who pronounces mobile to rhyme with noble. Seemed a mismatch for the translation.

Sorry I bought it, and it has even put me off listening to the other two, featuring a different character and with a different reader, which I still have in my queue.

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  • Trish R.
  • 11-01-20

Good book and phenomenal narration..


Totally lost! I know it was about kids being kidnapped and Nik Pohl being confused as to why BUT there was so many players with so many German names I had no idea who they were talking about. I can’t see myself reading this author again. I could keep up with the story, mostly, but not the people they were talking about. And if you don’t know the people because of their names it’s hard to really enjoy the book.

I did like his friends Jon, the hacker, and Balthazar, the pathologist. But Nik, not so much. He was standing on the edge of a rooftop and thinking of jumping and he would get so drunk it was ridiculous. That’s not my kind of hero. Another reason I won’t be reading this author.

No romance and the F-bomb was used 32 times.

As to the narration: Chris Andrew Ciulla was fabulous! His emotions when he reads is awesome.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-03-21

Comparisions

Hello, I have both the Kindle and the Audible of this book. I definitely remember more about the story when I read visually - but the narration was so good that after the first day - I found myself drawn in more and more. I am now glad when I have the time to devote to the Kindle option I can read it again down the road. But for when I want to listen I have this amazing audible option. Highly recommended. And if you have not read the first Nik Pohl Thriller you should!!