Thursday, October 4, 2012
Review of The Killing of Emma Gross by Damien Seaman (Blasted Heath, 2011)
The Killing of Emma Gross is a well constructed historical police procedural that is based on the story of the real Dusseldorf ripper, Peter Kurten, using real characters from the case such as Gennat and the pathologist. The story is gritty, edgy and dark, with a nice tension running throughout centred on the fraught rivalry between Klein and Ritter, and Berlin Kripo's presence. The plot is well paced and as it unfolds becomes a real page-turner. The characterisation is excellent throughout, with adequate back story to get a good sense of the main actors, and Klein was engaging as a flawed copper looking for redemption and revenge. Moreover, Seaman does a good job of placing the reader in the Weimar Republic and its unsettled social and political landscape. Overall, a taut, sinister, well told tale and I’d be interested in spending more time in Klein’s company.