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Rain Girl by Gabi Kreslehner

Rain Girl

by Gabi Kreslehner

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I enjoyed this book well enough, but it wasn't suspenseful enough and the plot was a bit too predictable. The characters had believable flaws, and I thought the scenes where the main detective Franza interacted with her partner Felix were particularly engaging. The ending left too many loose ends dangling for my taste. ( )
  brleach | Jan 26, 2015 |
'Er würde ... die Stille des Hauses spüren, seine Größe, seine Leere.', 'Das ... ist sie also gewesen ohne Tod im Gesicht.', 'Verschwindlichter. Wenn man darauf zuging, verschwand man.'
Wer Sätze wie diese liest, denkt sicherlich, hier eine gefühlvolle, überaus poetisch geschriebene Lektüre vor sich zu haben statt einen ,schnöden` ;-) Kriminalroman. Doch das Regenmädchen ist beides: Es gibt Tote, zahlreiche Spuren, eine Reihe Verdächtiger - all dies ist in einer spannenden Geschichte verpackt, die zudem einen tiefen Einblick in das Leben der verantwortlichen Kommissarin Franza Oberwieser gewährt.
Diese versucht gemeinsam mit ihrem Kollegen Felix Herz zu klären, wie es zu dem tragischen Unfall auf der Autobahn kommen konnte, bei dem die junge Marie tödlich verunglückte. Schon bald stellt sich heraus, dass noch eine weitere Person beteiligt gewesen sein musste und aus Maries Leben werden Dinge offenbar, die manch einer lieber verborgen wissen möchte. Selbst zu Franzas Umfeld werden Verbindungen erkennbar, die kaum jemanden mehr überraschen als sie selbst.
Franza Oberwieser ist eine ungewöhnliche Kommissarin. Geplagt von privaten Problemen (unglückliche Ehe, ein Liebhaber, Beziehung zum Sohn), hat sie sich trotz all der Grausamkeiten und Toten, mit denen sie tagtäglich konfrontiert wird, auch in ihrem Beruf eine verblüffende Empfindsamkeit bewahrt. Die Autorin bringt dies durch eine außergewöhnlich poetische und bilderreiche Sprache zum Ausdruck, die in dieser Literaturgattung doch recht selten anzutreffen ist.
So bietet dieses Buch gleich zwei Dinge: Ein gefühlvolles und lebensnahes Psychogramm einer Frau in den Vierzigern. Und einen spannenden Kriminalroman über den mysteriösen Tod einer nicht minder mysteriösen jungen Frau. ( )
  Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
Two police officers in the Munich area are investigating the death of a young woman who was hit by a car on the autobahn. There is no other car so she didn’t drive herself and her clothes and some of her injuries suggest an earlier attack. So how did she get out here without transport, who was she with, and what happened that made her run into the road in the dark and heavy rain that made visibility difficult for oncoming traffic?

Rain Girl is the first book by Austrian author Gabi Kreslehner translated into English. Although I didn’t dislike the main characters, I never developed any sense of caring about them either. They had flaws and I would normally consider that a good thing but, because we’re told so little else about them, they become little more than these flaws: there’s not enough beyond the affairs and the manipulations to make the reader feel anything, certainly not empathy, even for the victim. And, honestly, no author besides Dickens can get away with using coincidence to create suspense without making the reader feel like they’re being manipulated.

The mystery itself was interesting enough to keep me reading despite my lack of investment in the lives of the characters. The writing is very good even lyrical at times, especially in the descriptions. Rain Girl is listed as a standalone but it felt like the first in a series. If it is the first, I’m not sure if I would read another by this author. The author clearly has talent that makes me think future books could be very good indeed. But as to this one -it was a fast easy read, requiring little from me except a couple of hours and I can honestly say they weren’t wasted. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a decent enough mystery to fill up some time but that won’t keep you up wondering what will happen next. ( )
  lostinalibrary | Sep 30, 2014 |
Rain girl is a meandering mystery, long on poetic observations and short on substance. While many reviewers are blaming the translation, I actually liked the word choices and I thought the prose flowed well. My problems arose from the overall story, which has nothing to do with the translator.

There are a lot of characters, most of them minor, moving in and out throughout short chapters. This makes it a hard book to put down and come back to. I read it in one day, and even then I was forgetting who certain people were and how they pertained to the issue at hand.

The tone of the book feels philosophical, and that aspect is sometimes overdone. The writing has a tendency to feel weighty and introspective, more suited to drama than mystery/suspense.

The characters, in a way, are difficult for me to judge. Being an Austrian book, some of my issues could be attributed to a difference in culture. Still, the characters did a lot of talking about trivial things but very little talking about important things. I don't want to give spoilers, so I'll just say that a lot of dangling threads needed to be pulled.

The story is wrapped up with an open-ended non-ending. This is an intentional choice by the author, but it has an incomplete feel for me. While leaving something for the reader to decide is fine, too many unanswered questions makes the book feel unfinished.

Overall, I neither loved nor hated this story. It's like a person I met but learned nothing about. The impact is small and forgettable. ( )
  Darcia | Jul 8, 2014 |
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