A compelling international thriller that explores the terrain between erotic love and death
On a warm September evening in 1953 Hans Arbogast, a young travelling salesman, picks up a hitchhiker, a refugee from East Germany. As dusk fall they make passionate love in a meadow. And then she is dead, her body found nestled against blackberry brambles. Even though the evidence is inconclusive, Arbogast is tried for murder, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment, all the while protesting his innocence. But Germany during the postwar years has no tolerance for scandal; all appeals are denied. For the next fourteen years he grows to inhabit his cell like a second skin, until finally a journalist, lawyer, and forensic pathologist from East Berlin set out to reexamine the evidence and have the case reopened.
Inspired by an actual criminal case that caused a furor at the time, The Arbogast Case elegantly weaves dramatic courtroom scenes with detailed forensic descriptions and authentic details of the grim postwar era. The result is a compelling legal thriller in which erotic love and death are intimately intertwined, by a young German writer whose lyrical style and utter originality have brought him renown throughout Europe and is now being published in English for the first time.
About Thomas Hettche
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Published November 1, 2003
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.