Berlin, 2017: several young girls have been disappearing for the past fourteen years. Red ribbons show the police the way to their bodies, but there’s no trace of the killer.
One evening, internationally renowned philosophy professor and anthropologist Walter Lesniak is arrested on the suspicion of the murders in the presence of his daughter, Ann.
‘Professor Death’ becomes the headline of the tabloid press and Lesniak himself refuses to cooperate with the police. Ann is certain this is all some kind of mistake. And she will prove it. Yet, with the arrest of her father, she begins a journey into the unknown…
Anatomy of a Killer is a dark, intriguing novel by the author of Dear Child. Centering on Ann, whose father has been arrested for the murder of many young girls but she firmly believes he couldn’t have committed those atrocities. She sets out to prove this…
I really liked the premise of this novel. I found myself very much intrigued as to whether Ann’s father was indeed innocent, and who else could have been the perpetrator if not him. I felt for Ann – what a horrendous situation she’s in! – and was rooting for her to uncover what actually happened, but I did think Ann was quite hard to like. She was pretty dense at times, and completely rigid in her theory of whoever she believed had killed these girls, seeming to ignore any evidence pointing to other people or other situations. However, I do tend to enjoy reading about unlikeable narrators so this wasn’t a negative for me!
The storyline jumps between the present day and the past, though each ‘past’ chapter is clearly marked with the year so I didn’t find it too confusing. However, there’s a number of characters and names to keep track of and I did find myself losing track a bit at certain points with the story dragging slightly.
Overall I really enjoyed the suspense in this novel and the chapters told by the mysterious serial killer – presented as transcripts – were really interesting to read. I think the translator has done a great job highlighting the author’s skilful writing, and there are some twists to keep the reader guessing. So if you fancy a dark and entertaining read, this may be just what you’re after!
My rating: 4/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Quercus Books, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.