Review: Der Geiger

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on December 25, 2013 in Articles and Reviews |

I will say right at the start of this short review that Der Geiger (The Violinist) disappointed. It is a wide-ranging theme, modern-day with a touch of history thrown in, covering the search for family roots and a violin which, to the last member of the family, means a great deal.

Viktoria Michaelis: Violin

Photo Credit: Emily’s mindCreative Commons

The story, however, leaves much to be desired: a lack of depth in many parts; jumping back and forth from one story to another without adequate chapter headings; characterization which tells us next to nothing about the characters.

And yet, the theme is a good one. A family split through the machinations of power in the Soviet Union, thrown out of society and cast out into the wilderness of a life in the Gulag, a life outside of society. A single instrument, the violin, which holds the family together over many years and the desire to discover what happened decades before, who was responsible for the destruction of several lives. There are moments when the story comes together very well indeed, but they are not often enough to hold the attention for more than a single chapter, and the jumping from one period to another without an indication of when the story takes place – only the first two chapters are graced with a date as chapter heading – confuses and irritates.

Mechtild Borrmann is undoubtedly a good writer, and has been recognized as such with the Deutschen-Krimi_Preis for her first work, but this new work fails to live up to the genre. It misses the crime as much as the historical through a lack of depth, a lack of feeling, a lack of recognition for the personalities of those depicted.

Published by Knaur (German language). ISBN: 978 3 426 51038 4

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