Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany’s oldest city. So when a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.
Fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.
Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork. With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he’s quick to link the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men – and to realise they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great solving the case may mean unearthing the city’s secret magical history.
. . . so long as that history doesn’t kill them first.
I want to go to Trier now…
This was a fun story, and perfectly satsifactory for its length. I often feel novellas are rushed, trying to fit too much in. Mr Aaronovitch’s work is an exception to this, and so it this particular novella. The pacing is spot on, and the plot is just intricate enough to be interesting but not leave us with unanswered questions and needing more.
Although we find ourselves in a completely new setting, with a group of brand new characters, we also see a lot of elements we are familiar with from the rest of the series, making this feel like a warm hug non-the-less. The main character, Tobias, is fairly similar to Peter with the same kind of humour and voice. He is still his own character though, and I would love to see more of him (maybe, hopefully, we get a crossover in the future…).
Trier is very nicely shown off, making the city as much of a character as London is in the other books. The case is a classic one we are used to from the earlier books, giving us a bit of a break from the chaos that was book 7.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this novella and it has certainly deserved its place in the series. And now I am even more curious to what the future books may bring.