Ariana's Reviews > The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
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's review
Apr 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: take-me-away, mob-mentality
Read from April 27 to May 08, 2012

"My life might have been so different, if I hadn't been known as the girl whose grandmother exploded."

Possibly the BEST first line EVER!!

This is the perfect book for someone who likes escapist stories ~ The perfect book for someone who likes to learn and be immersed in far-off, yet real life places. I cannot say enough about the setting of this book: a quaint, charming German town called Bad Münstereifel (pun alert), perfectly darling, save for that fact that little girls are being abducted there on a regular basis. What gets better than that? I've been so sick of reading murder book after murder book set in the same boring places... the USA, or, if our author has a creative streak, England. In the Vanishing, it was almost as if the town itself was a character. Charming, yet suspicious, and steeped in manic superstition.

In a way, it reminded me a lot of To Kill a Mockingbird, what with the whole bildungsroman going on in the face of controversy. Not to mention the prejudice theme. And Herr Duster is certainly a Boo! (Ooh, hope I didn't give anything away there. But I think it's pretty apparent if you've read any piece of lit, ever) Despite all these similarities with Mockingbird, however, this book is distinctively its own.

The ending wasn't exactly mind-blowing for me, but it was for my mother and everyone else I know who has read it. I read too many mysteries to not have at least CONSIDERED this person to be the killer. Whether or not you guessed the correct killer from the beginning, or if you were just as mind blown as everyone come the book's final chapters, it's a fantastic read either way. It's not that kind of mystery where you're begging the characters to be intelligent and look at what's right in front of their eyes. Ratherrr, the main character, Pia, is pretty awesome and smart throughout, although, like any well-developed character, she does have her flaws.

Definitely need to read Grant's next book, also set in Germany, "The Glass Demon".

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