The unnamed narrator is an immediate draw for mystery blog reviewers. He is in
to give a lecture on mystery novels when he meets the Chief of Police, Dr. H. While traveling together the Chief tells him the story of his former deputy, Matthai. Zurich
The police had been called to investigate the brutal murder of a young girl, Gritli Moser, in the forest outside the
. When killed she was wearing a red skirt and carrying a basket of pretzels. The killing provokes great anger in the village. Challenged by the girl’s mother to find the killer Matthai vows to find the killer. village of Magendorf
Suspicion is concentrated on the peddler who found the body. Aggressive questioning produces a confession from him. Before Matthai and Dr. H. can check out the confession the peddler commits suicide.
All officialdom is prepared to accept the peddler as the killer but Matthai is convinced they have the wrong man and that there is a serial killer lurking in eastern
. Having made his pledge to find the killer he leaves the police force to follow his quest. Switzerland
Matthai is a skilled and determined investigator whose life has been focused around his work. He now becomes obsessed with the search. It dominates his life. When all conventional investigational techniques fail he turns to a chilling unethical approach. Matthai cannot recognize his methods dishonour his pledge.
The book has an unexpected but logical conclusion.
It is not a complex mystery. It is a subtle work. Should a person change their life to carry out a promise? We all make promises. On occasion I have been unable to fulfill a promise. There is regret in failing to honour a promise. Normally people accept they cannot fulfill every promise. The book illustrates the consequences of refusing to accept a promise that cannot be honoured. (Sept. 12/11)
The paperbook cover said the book had been made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson, Benicio Del Toro and Patricia Clarkson. The movie was made in 2001. On the cover above is a photo of Nicholson. Being
the movie setting was moved from Hollywood to Switzerland . I am not sure whether our changes were made from the book. I have not seen it. Apparently I am not unique. The movie’s worldwide gross did not cover the cost of production. More information is available on the movie at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0237572/. Lastly the movie was filmed in Nevada in Canada . British Columbia