A small but successful town south of Berlin. The 67-year-old wife of the former mayor, herself a pillar of the town, goes missing along with her elderly cocker spaniel. A few days later, both are found in the forest, brutally killed while out on a walk. Within days, the former mayor, her husband, is arrested for the crime.
By the time we leave journalist Anja Reich-Osang’s The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of A Marriage (Text Publishing), we have been led through a mystery, but the conclusions we draw are not concrete. This true crime tale reads like a thriller though and, like a good thriller, it can be tough to put down.
Reich-Osang began covering the story as a reporter and she attended Heinrich Scholl’s trial, later gaining access to the man himself. Her fascination led her to delve more deeply into the Scholl’s life and marriage, revealing that very little in the perfect seeming relationship was quite what it seemed.
In the end, Reich-Osang does not serve us up a conclusion, instead allowing us to reach for our own. The Scholl Case is a stylish and compelling, a mysterious nearly five decade relationship maturing into darkness against the backdrop of the Cold War and Germany’s reunification. ◊