Juli Zeh

Harvill Secker  £12.99 tdbk

Released: March 4th 2010

Reviewer: Maureen Carlyle


Maureen Carlyle is a reviewer, past judge of the Ellis Peters Award and is involved in the theatre and a keen archaeologist.


This is altogether one of the most extraordinary books I have ever read.  Expertly translated from the original German by Christine Lo, it concerns two physicists, both brilliant, closest of friends from student days on.  Oskar works on the Large Hadron Collider at Geneva, but Sebastian has opted for marriage and a professorship at the University of Freiburg. 

Oskar has never really forgiven Sebastian for settling for this safe option, and their monthly meetings are peppered with violent arguments about physics and the space-time continuum.  Please donít let these erudite subjects put you off Ė I know little or nothing about them but was riveted from first to last. 

Sebastianís young son is kidnapped on the way to his scout camp.  This is followed by the grisly murder of an anaesthetist from the local hospital.  Then two extremely eccentric detectives enter the scene. 

On one level, this is a murder mystery with an investigation and a solution.  But it is so much more, covering life, love, death, everything.  It would spoil your enjoyment to tell you anything further about the plot.  Just read it.







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