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 struggle to unlock what lies behind these ritualistic beatings also opens the lid on the thorny issue of the physical punishment of children.Another brilliantly accomplished psychological crime novel by the author of The Sweetness of Life, winner of the European Literature Prize 2009, regarded by many as one of the most talented writers of his generation.

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