A deeply unsettling psychological thriller for fans of Sophie Hannah, Sarah Hilary and Nicci French…
Silent is the Forest is a newly translated novel published in ebook format by Manilla in September 2016.
Manilla is the joint initiative of Bonnier Zaffre, an imprint of Bonnier Publishing in the UK, and Ullstein Verlag in Germany.
Written by Gisa Klönne, a German writer living in Cologne, I was interested to see how her work would translate into English.
Read on for my thoughts….
The silent forest hides many secrets…
When a badly decomposed body is discovered in a forest, Judith Krieger, a police detective from Cologne, is assigned to the case.
For years burdened by a terrible memory, Judith knows that this is her last chance to recover her famed abilities. Chain smoking and suffering from chronic fatigue, she gets started with the investigation…
But Judith makes mistakes, and is forced to blur the boundaries between work and her own past.
With everything at stake – her job and even her identity – she needs to solve this case, but is she still the cop she once was?
Silent is the Forest is the first in a series of novels about Detective Judith Krieger.
Judith Krieger is a young police woman traumatized by an event that happened some years previously. Her world is falling apart. Everything in her life is out of control. Her boss has been lenient with her thus far but his patience is running out.
When a badly decomposed body is found hidden away in a forest, Judith has one last chance to redeem herself.
Her love life is in tatters and Judith is exhausted. She needs all her courage and endurance to see this case through.
As Judith is to discover, the forest holds many secrets. Home to a yoga retreat, there is a constant movement of people, causing difficulties for the investigators to complete their tasks.
Judith was an experienced and very successful detective. She had held the respect of all her colleagues within the police force. Most of those she would have crossed paths with knew she was not to be trifled with. But times have changed. Judith no longer trusts her gut. She is acting careless and forgetful. Her boss and partner are concerned not just for Judith but for the whole investigation.
Silent is the Forest is a complex read. There are numerous characters with rather unusual names. Maybe this is where I had difficulty connecting with the book. I found myself having to back check on many occasions and I have to be honest I almost stopped reading at page 100!! I did though persist to the end and was glad I did.
I have read many translated books and I always hope that a part of the story does not get lost in translation. In the case of this book I think it did… Maybe in German the book comes across better.
The story-line attracted me to the book but it was the layout, the jumping between a multitude of characters and the complexity of the characters intertwining stories that resulted in my rather deflated feeling about the book.
I have no doubt there are plenty who will think differently and I would like to thank Bonnier Zaffre for giving me the opportunity to read Silent is the Forest.
It’s always good to step out of one’s comfort zone occasionally, hence my attraction to the translated book.
It opens a world of different writing to me, to which I am very thankful.
Meet the Author:
Gisa Klönne (born 1964) lives as a writer in Cologne.
Her series around the self-confident Commissioner Judith Krieger has so far sold more than half a million copies, has been translated into several languages and has received many awards, including the Friedrich Glauser Crime Prize.
Before she was lucky enough to earn her living as a writer, Klönne studied English, German literature, politics and theater, film and television sciences, and worked as a secretary, an operatic woman, a breeder, and a feminist research project at the university.
She volunteered at an environmental magazine, worked as a chief editor and freelance journalist, and as a lecturer in the training and further education of journalists.