The Murder Farm
Author: Andrea Maria Schenkel
Average Rating: 3.23/5.0
Personal Rating: 4.0/5.0
Amount of Pages: 192
Finished Reading: May
According to Goodreads:
A whole family has been murdered with a pickaxe. They were old Danner the farmer, an overbearing patriarch, his put-upon devoutly religious wife, and their daughter Barbara Spangler, whose husband Vincenz left her after fathering her daughter, Marianne. Also murdered was the Danners' new maidservant, Marie, who was regarded as slightly simple. Despite the brutal nature of the killings and the small village where it has taken place, the police have no leads. Officially the crime is unsolved. And then a former resident returns home The Murder Farm is an unconventional detective story. The author interweaves testament from the villagers, an oblique view of the murderer, occasional third-person narrative pieces and passages of pious devotion. The narrator leaves the village unaware of the truth, only the reader is able to reach the shattering conclusion.
I received an electronic copy of this book to review, but in no way does that have an impact on my views and opinion.
"The Murder Farm" is a fine example of how a thriller should be. I believe that goriness, as in buckets of blood and guts, is completely unnecessary. A thriller needs to have several parts that send your heart beating, and having you glance over your shoulder once or twice.
I highly enjoyed how the novel began, even though I thought I was reading a little excerpt from the author, but in reality it was part of the story...whoops. Every so often there would be a page or two with a part of a prayer asking all the saints and God to watch over the murder victims. I thought that was a unique touch that I as a reader doesn't see that much. I don't necessarily get uncomfortable when faith or God gets brought up in a novel that I am reading, but if it's thrown and shoved down my throat I will stop reading the book. However, Schenkel weaves this prayer intricately and beautifully throughout the novel. I would forget about the prayer while I was reading, and then at the perfect moment I would turn to a page with more of the prayer.
As far as the character development goes, there wasn't too much. The chapters were set up so that part of them was a character giving their account of what happened, and the other parts of the chapters was actually what happened. I loved that set up, because usually if a question arose while reading, the second part of the chapter supplied the answer. You just find out bits and pieces of each character while they give the information about the murders that they know or witnessed. This is definitely not a novel where you can form a relationship or connection with the characters.