Wednesday 7 March 2018

Read in 2018 - 3: In den Schatten der Vergangenheit

In den Schatten der Vergangenheit
Ricarda Konrad

A German book, for a change, by an author I'd never heard of before. The book I found for free at Amazon's Kindle shop is the 1st (so far) 7 books by Ricarda Konrad. The link to the author's homepage I found by a quick research leads nowhere; it looks as if she was rather active in the years from 2014 to 2016 but has stopped participating on platforms such as lovelybooks, goodreads and facebook.

The title means "In the Shadows of the Past". The story sounds interesting enough: 40-something Caroline, newly divorced, accepts the unexpected inheritance from her Irish great-aunt, a lady she hardly knew. She decides to up sticks and say good-bye to her old life in Germany, moving to the cottage in an Irish village she suddenly owns.

There, not only does she make new friends (and an enemy), she also comes across a bundle of old letters that hint to a terrible tragedy in the past of her late great-aunt. 
With the help of her new friends and neighbours, she manages to unearth the truth about the events of decades ago, not without some danger to herself.

As I said, this could have been a good story, rather gripping. Well, it had its moments, but to be honest, the writing simply did not pull me into the story well enough. I did try to imagine the places, people and events, but the mental cinema seemed like an incomplete, rough collection of woody images with not enough depth to really care about the characters.

Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a particularly bad book (I've read worse!) but not one I can recommend, either. Still, it kept me entertained for a few train journeys, and that means it was not a waste of time.

According to Amazon's author info, Ricarda Konrad is 2 years older than I (born 1966) and wrote her first short books while still at school. Education, work and family life put a stop to her ambitions as a writer until in 2014 she had the opportunity to follow through with her idea for a novel and write this book. She is married and has a daughter.

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