A sharp psychological thriller exposing the dark underbelly of provincial society in Austria.
Hysteria breaks out in the idyllic town of Furth am See: a young man falls to his death from scaffolding; then a beaten child is brought in to the police, soon followed by others showing similar signs of abuse.
The authorities are put under serious pressure to find the perpetrators, but with the child victims too terrified to talk, neither Criminal Commissioner Kovacs nor psychiatrist Raffael Horn seem able to make any headway. The case raises anxiety amongst the residents about the physical punishment of their children, but the truth behind the abuse is more horrifying than anyone could imagine.
Paulus Hochgatterer lives as a writer and child psychiatrist in Vienna. He is the author of several novels and story collections, including The Sweetness of Life (for which he was the winner of the European Literature Prize) and The Mattress House, two crime novels published by MacLehose Press.