My review of Ice Cold by Andrea Maria Schenkel went up at Euro Crime on Sunday. From my review:
"This grim tale is told amid lives of extreme poverty and ignorance, with the political propaganda applied to the population by the government always in the background. The atmosphere of working class Munich is well-conveyed, reminding me of L'Assommoir and Nana in Emile Zola's Rougon-Macquart series, which explored poverty and squalor in Paris 50 years before the events of ICE COLD."
Both books have won awards, are short, and are very grim reading. Too bleak and cold for my taste, I think, but clearly they are very well respected. Which makes me think I may be missing something in my assessment of them. I think my issue with them is that the stories are told in a very clinical fashion, without embellishment. The style of providing the story as several "witness statements" increases this sense of alienation in the reader, as one cannot get involved in any of the characters (although one can feel pity for the victims). Essentially, these books leave me stumped. I don't "get" them.