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The Sweetness of Life

On sale

3rd July 2008

Price: £14.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781847243881

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An old man has his skull broken on a winter’s night. His seven-year-old granddaughter finds him and refuses to speak a single word afterwards. Raffael Horn, a psychologist engaged to treat the child, becomes reluctantly involved in solving the crime.
Detective Superintendent Bruno Kovacs sits in snowbound beer gardens by day and peers through binoculars at night. Year-end crimes are always a bother, he finds, not least because they disrupt his erotic schedule with Marlene, the owner of a second-hand shop. And although he doesn’t mind an excuse to extract himself from Marlene’s romantic New Year plans, this victim, he is quite sure, will keep him busy well in to January.
A psychopathic father beats his daughters, a jogging Benedictine monk hears voices that do not come from heaven, a retired postman contemplates suicide, and a young mother believes her new-born child is the devil… The psychological profile of this small town is far from reassuring – but which member of its population was the nocturnal visitor responsible for the brutal slaying?


Literary Review
This is a scrupulous, serious novel, in which crime and detection, though convincing, are mechanisms allowing the author to examine the psychology of his characters … an impressive, cheerless tale - Literary Review
Irish Sunday Tribune
… when he's good, Hochgatterer is very good - Irish Sunday Tribune.
Scotland on Sunday
Beautifully written in cool, clear prose - Scotland on Sunday