** SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA INTERNATIONAL DAGGER 2018 **
The first in a gripping new crime series set in Germany - the Black Forest Investigations
Louise Boni, maverick chief inspector with the Black Forest crime squad, is struggling with her demons. Divorced at forty-two, she is haunted by the shadows of the past.
Dreading yet another a dreary winter weekend alone, she receives a call from the departmental chief which signals the strangest assignment of her career - to trail a Japanese monk wandering through the snowy wasteland to the east of Freiburg, dressed only in sandals and a cowl. She sets off reluctantly, and by the time she catches up with him, she discovers that he is injured, and fearfully fleeing some unknown evil. When her own team comes under fire, the investigation takes on a terrifying dimension, uncovering a hideous ring of child traffickers. The repercussions of their crimes will change the course of her own life.
Oliver Bottini is a fresh and exciting voice in the world of crime fiction in translation; the Rhine borderlands of the Black Forest are a perfect setting for his beautifully crafted mysteries.
Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch
An exceptional crime novel. — Kolja Mensing, TAZ
It's been a long time since any crime author started out so strongly, so visually. — Tobias Gohlis, Die Zeit
Oliver Bottini, one of the few German authors who play in crime-writing's premier league, really knows how to tell a good story. — Frankfurter Rundschau
Tension without brutality, local colour without small-minded sentimentality, good intelligent reading with depth. — Christine Hage, Handelsblatt
A piercing examination of our reality . . . Bottini uses the full potential of the genre to look deep into humanity's abyss and sees there the concealed traumas of German society — Tomasz Kurianowicz, Die Zeit
Gripping. — Tatler.
The first of his award-winning Black Forest novels to appear in English. It has an arresting opening image: a Buddhist monk with a head injury strides across the snowy landscape of the border country between Germany and France . . . a surprising and genuinely shocking case. — Joan Smith, The Sunday Times
A nicely done shock thriller — Weekend Sport
An atmospheric, original story that will keep you hooked to
the final heart-rending revelations
— Crime Review
Bottini has established himself as a strong new voice in crime with this inventive mystery . . . The fictional landscape is beguiling and the story utterly gripping — Book Noir
With its cinematic writing style, its brilliant sense of location and its strong visual depiction of an inhospitable landscape, Zen provides an intelligent and engrossing crossover novel between a police procedural and the study of an individual's personal collapse — Ewa Sherman, Riveting Reviews