Raven Sisters Book Review

Raven Sisters Book Review

Title: Raven Sisters
Author: Gabi Kreslehner, Alison Leyland Translator
Published: April 19, 2016, AmazonCrossing
No. of Pages: 402
Cover Price: $14.95 Paperback, $5.99 Kindle

Often when a book has been written in a language other than English and translated, it loses much of the charm and the nuances of the story. Not so with Raven Sisters, Book 2 in the Franza Oberwieser series, by Gabi Kreslehner. The translator, Alison Leyland, has done an excellent job, and the novel reads almost like it was originally written in English.

Hanna Umlauf, who is a foster child, is taken into a new home where there is a daughter, Gertrud, who is the same age as Hanna and they grow up as sisters; they are very close and although their childhoods are idyllic in many ways, it seems Hanna is the wonder child, able to do everything better; she is smarter and much more beautiful than Gertrud and Hanna is the obvious favorite. After Hanna’s lover drowns while on holiday in Greece with both sisters, Hanna disappears for many years. When she and Gertrud meet again, Gertrud’s daughter, Lilli is in her 20s, and Gertrud is soon after found murdered. It looks to most like Hanna is the murderer. Detective Franza Oberwieser and her team are assigned the task of unraveling the mystery of the sisters and the murder.

Although the story is a bit slow starting, and some of the characters are a bit difficult to differentiate at first, once into the book, readers will be glued to their seats. There is a decidedly European feel to this suspenseful thriller, especially with the interactions between the characters; the prose is almost lyrical in such a way that it is a joy to read (very different from the American bestsellers that are churned out every few months and are about as well-written as a tabloid). There are twists and turns throughout. Near the end, some of the important details can be guessed before they are confirmed, but the identity of the murderer is a surprise. The chapters jump from character to character, a trend that seems to be happening more and more with the popularity of Gone Girl, but the characters names aren’t listed at the beginning of the chapters, so readers have to guess who is talking. Because it is a foreign author, Raven Sisters takes a bit longer to read, but it different from the norm and definitely worth reading for those who are tired of the same old-same old.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

This book may be purchased at Amazon:
Raven Sisters (Franza Oberwieser Book 2)

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