If like me, you need a little push to get back on the reading and blogging saddle, then this could be the perfect book. It has 187 small pages with short chapters. The writing is understated and to the point, yet engaging, descriptive and emotive in parts. I thought initially it was a bit wooden and may not have translated well but that turned out to be one of the highlights of the book – few words, plenty of meaning.
Set in Berlin, The Collini Case is about a man charged with murder, an act he doesn’t deny and the attempts of a young lawyer to defend a client who will give him no information or clues as to motive. A client who on the surface appears to be an ordinary and respectable man, employed for the past 34 years by Mercedes Benz before committng a clinical and brutal murder. It’s such a small book that to write much more would spoil it I think. The fact that Ferdinand von Schirach is an experienced criminal lawyer himself brings credibility to the court room scenes, especially as the German legal system seems a little different from the UK at least.
The Collini Case covers a lot of ground, the characters are sensitively portrayed and well developed even though the book is short and the pace never seems hurried.
Very enjoyable and tempting to curl up with and finish in one sitting but I managed to stretch it out over three days on the train.
Translated from the German by Anthea Bell
2011 (English 2012), 187 pages