The Northern Cross by Hendrick Falkenberg

  29904293 I received a free ebook of The Northern Cross from NetGalley in return for a fair review.

This is a novel set on the Northern Coast of Germany on the Baltic Sea.  Hannes is a detective and a semi-pro athlete.  He is now returning to work from a two week training session and has to face a new partner.

The case that greets him at his return is of a man, unidentified at first, found crucified  along the coast.  This case leads to another and another. All the murders are uncommon to say the least.  At the heart of them is a controversial religious group.  Are they the targets or perhaps the villians?  Is this an internal dispute of the church or something more personal?  The case leads Hannes through twists and turns, meeting a variety of characters and suspects.  It also leads Hannes to visit his old partner in prison to gain new perspective and put to rest feelings that Hannes has about his mentor being incarcerated.

The book develops a strong sense of place through scene descriptions and the isolated nature of the people’s lives.  Hannes is an interesting character, part detective part athlete.  He is the target of his new partner’s derision and yet seems determined to do his best with the cases he is assigned.    There is a romantic subplot for Hannes that adds to the novel as a whole.

I did enjoy this novel.  I just wish I had read the first book before reading this one.  I feel as though there were things I missed due to not having a complete backstory of the characters.  Nicely done mystery, with multiple twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.

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