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Der Schatten

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„Am 11. Februar wirst du am Prater einen Mann namens Arthur Grimm töten. Aus freien Stücken. Und mit gutem Grund.“ Gerade ist die junge Journalistin Norah von Berlin nach Wien gezogen, um ihr altes Leben endgültig hinter sich zu lassen, als ihr eine alte Bettlerin auf der Straße diese Worte förmlich entgegenspuckt. Norah ist verstört, denn ausgerechnet in der Nacht des 11. „Am 11. Februar wirst du am Prater einen Mann namens Arthur Grimm töten. Aus freien Stücken. Und mit gutem Grund.“ Gerade ist die junge Journalistin Norah von Berlin nach Wien gezogen, um ihr altes Leben endgültig hinter sich zu lassen, als ihr eine alte Bettlerin auf der Straße diese Worte förmlich entgegenspuckt. Norah ist verstört, denn ausgerechnet in der Nacht des 11. Februar ist vor vielen Jahren Schreckliches geschehen. Trotzdem tut sie die Frau als verwirrt ab, eine Irre ist sie, es kann gar nicht anders sein – bis kurz darauf ein mysteriöser Mann namens Arthur Grimm in ihrem Leben auftaucht. Bald kommt Norah ein schlimmer Verdacht: Hat sie tatsächlich allen Grund, sich an Grimm zu rächen? Was ist damals, in der schlimmsten Nacht ihres Lebens, wirklich passiert? Und kann Norah für Gerechtigkeit sorgen, ohne selbst zur Mörderin zu werden?


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„Am 11. Februar wirst du am Prater einen Mann namens Arthur Grimm töten. Aus freien Stücken. Und mit gutem Grund.“ Gerade ist die junge Journalistin Norah von Berlin nach Wien gezogen, um ihr altes Leben endgültig hinter sich zu lassen, als ihr eine alte Bettlerin auf der Straße diese Worte förmlich entgegenspuckt. Norah ist verstört, denn ausgerechnet in der Nacht des 11. „Am 11. Februar wirst du am Prater einen Mann namens Arthur Grimm töten. Aus freien Stücken. Und mit gutem Grund.“ Gerade ist die junge Journalistin Norah von Berlin nach Wien gezogen, um ihr altes Leben endgültig hinter sich zu lassen, als ihr eine alte Bettlerin auf der Straße diese Worte förmlich entgegenspuckt. Norah ist verstört, denn ausgerechnet in der Nacht des 11. Februar ist vor vielen Jahren Schreckliches geschehen. Trotzdem tut sie die Frau als verwirrt ab, eine Irre ist sie, es kann gar nicht anders sein – bis kurz darauf ein mysteriöser Mann namens Arthur Grimm in ihrem Leben auftaucht. Bald kommt Norah ein schlimmer Verdacht: Hat sie tatsächlich allen Grund, sich an Grimm zu rächen? Was ist damals, in der schlimmsten Nacht ihres Lebens, wirklich passiert? Und kann Norah für Gerechtigkeit sorgen, ohne selbst zur Mörderin zu werden?

30 review for Der Schatten

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Shadow by Melanie Raabe There is so much foreshadowing and symbolism in this story. It's a work of art, in itself, with the gloomy, eerie, cold, atmosphere. It seems as if it's always nighttime, with descriptions of sounds and smells that bring back hazy memories of something sinister.  Norah Richter has recently moved to Vienna, from Berlin. She's lost her job and is being sued for reasons we don't know. Her long term relationship has been destroyed and now she's living in a big, empty flat. The Shadow by Melanie Raabe There is so much foreshadowing and symbolism in this story. It's a work of art, in itself, with the gloomy, eerie, cold, atmosphere. It seems as if it's always nighttime, with descriptions of sounds and smells that bring back hazy memories of something sinister.  Norah Richter has recently moved to Vienna, from Berlin. She's lost her job and is being sued for reasons we don't know. Her long term relationship has been destroyed and now she's living in a big, empty flat. Norah seems to exist in her mind, often not noticing things around her unless the smells, sounds, and visuals remind her of sad, terrifying past events. I want to think she's in the middle of some kind of psychotic episode but Norah seems to be a hard worker, very good at her job, and has some devoted long time friends. But she rarely sleeps and her dreams are filled with blood and being unable to fix things. She's taken up smoking again, drinks way too much, sleeps with strangers and then kicks them out of her flat the next morning.  Strange things are happening, such as a beggar telling her, "On the eleventh of February, you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm . . . With good reason. And of your own free will." And then finding a tarot card that predicts death, being haunted by sights and sounds of Grimm, things disappearing or appearing in her apartment, her friends treating her differently or shunning her entirely. It's hard to know if Norah is a reliable narrator when everything about her seems so hazy and distant.  This story is very entertaining and the atmosphere is the star. Sights, sounds, smells, and darkness play big roles in the telling of this tale. It's amazing how the story can seem one way for so long and then there is an about face and it's something else, something that I was prepared for because I paid attention to the signs...but even as I paid attention, I couldn't trust what I thought was happening.  Published January 5th 2021 Thank you to House of Anansi Press Inc./Spiderline and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    You are going to want to add this one to your mounting TBR list! 📚 I was mesmerized from the opening paragraph which I will share with you now- Excerpt: “ Norah loved goodbyes. She loved moments of transition: the minutes between night and day, Winter and Spring, one year and the next. She loved new babies and weddings. Another life, a second chance, rebirth. A clean slate, and a new pencil. “ So, why was she crying? Journalist Norah Richter has just moved from Berlin to Vienna, to put some distan You are going to want to add this one to your mounting TBR list! 📚 I was mesmerized from the opening paragraph which I will share with you now- Excerpt: “ Norah loved goodbyes. She loved moments of transition: the minutes between night and day, Winter and Spring, one year and the next. She loved new babies and weddings. Another life, a second chance, rebirth. A clean slate, and a new pencil. “ So, why was she crying? Journalist Norah Richter has just moved from Berlin to Vienna, to put some distance between herself and “the incident “. But, soon after arriving, a beggar woman on the street looks right into her eyes and says, “On Feb. 11th you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm. Of your own free will. And, for a good reason.” She would usually shrug something like this off, but years earlier something terrible happened on Feb. 11th. And, when she meets a man named Arthur Grimm, a few days later, she cannot just let it go. Because Norah does not believe in coincidences. And, worries that this may be a self fulfilling prophecy?? This was such a UNIQUE, suspenseful story filled with vivid descriptions! I could picture the people passing her on the street, or sharing espressos and gossiping in the corner shop. I could feel the chill in the air, and smell the tobacco smoke from the pipe that ALWAYS seems to be nearby. As the story progressed, I had an inkling of where this was going, but I was only partially correct-Melanie Raabe had a few more surprises up her sleeve!! This hasn’t gotten the attention of many of my Goodreads friends. YET. I hope it will now. I LOVED it! ❤️ This book was originally published in German in 2018, under the title Der Shatten. It was translated to English by Imogen Taylor . AVAILABLE NOW!! I received a gifted copy and it was my pleasure to provide a candid review!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    On the eleventh of February, you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm . . . With good reason. And of your own free will. Well, that certainly is enough to wake up Norah! Who needs espresso when a fortune teller is telling you are going to commit murder on a certain date? Norah Richter is starting over. She is a journalist and due to a piece she wrote, she has lost her job, her relationship and now she is ready to reinvent herself. She moves from Berlin to Vienna and starts a new job which she i On the eleventh of February, you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm . . . With good reason. And of your own free will. Well, that certainly is enough to wake up Norah! Who needs espresso when a fortune teller is telling you are going to commit murder on a certain date? Norah Richter is starting over. She is a journalist and due to a piece she wrote, she has lost her job, her relationship and now she is ready to reinvent herself. She moves from Berlin to Vienna and starts a new job which she is happy to take on until a homeless woman approaches her and speaks those chilling words. Norah's greatest fear is to kill someone so she is sure nothing will happen on February 11th since there is no way she will do what she is told. Although, February 11th does have a meaning for her. She lost someone dear to her on that day. But how does Arthur Grimm connects with any of it? Quite an interesting story! Norah was in pain and dealing with a lot. However, I was upset she was getting all these signs but instead of carefully examining them, she was drinking, smoking and sleeping around too much. Her saving grace was her trusty friends who were there for her despite it all. Every time, Norah described her surroundings, I was transported back to Vienna. I could feel the chill in the air and the threatening darkness. Kudos to the author and to the audio performer for the atmospheric surroundings. Cliffhanger: No 4/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Spiderline via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! An intriguing thriller that almost didn’t make a blip on my radar. Norah is a journalist who has just moved to Vienna from Berlin. One day, while walking through town, a homeless woman stands right in front of Nora and says these chilling words: “On February 11 you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm. Of your own free will. And for a good reason.” The woman disappears into the crowd, leaving Norah perplexed and disturbed...especially since something bad from her past occurre HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! An intriguing thriller that almost didn’t make a blip on my radar. Norah is a journalist who has just moved to Vienna from Berlin. One day, while walking through town, a homeless woman stands right in front of Nora and says these chilling words: “On February 11 you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm. Of your own free will. And for a good reason.” The woman disappears into the crowd, leaving Norah perplexed and disturbed...especially since something bad from her past occurred on the 11th of February. She has no clue who Arthur Grimm is, or why she would want to kill him. Little does she know all of the trouble that is coming her way. I have a confession to make: I found myself bored and a tad bit confused with the first 40% of this book. It seemed like there were just a bunch of random scenarios. I asked myself, “Self, are you reading the same book that your friends Jayme and Ceecee raved about? What is going on?” Soon after that internal chit chat...BAM! The pieces started coming together, and I was hooked! This is a shockingly good mystery/thriller with quite a few surprises in store. I think I was meant to feel that confusion early on, and as I saw how it all started to fit into the brilliantly orchestrated plot, things made sense. There are quite a few surprises in store, and the suspense builds as the story reaches its conclusion...and we also get an encore. There were a few times where I thought “Oh, there’s a plot hole”, or “Wait a second. Whatever happened to THAT thread of the plot?” But I was wrong every time! Everything I questioned was explained. The book is wonderfully written, and it’s rich in atmosphere, especially in the last quarter. The translation from German to English is phenomenal - not clunky at all. 4.5 stars. I highly recommend. Thank you to Spiderline and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Bravo!!! 👏 Wow Melanie Raabe, what an amazing, well written book that sucked me right in and held me right up until the end! Another 5 ⭐️ read to start of 2021! Atmospheric read ✔️ Psychological thriller ✔️ Mystery ✔️ Amazing layered symbolism ✔️ Norah has moved to Vienna, after leaving her boyfriend behind in Berlin, and soon after arriving, has a strange encounter with a mysterious woman on the street who prophesies that Norah will soon murder a man. Soon after, stranger and stranger things kee Bravo!!! 👏 Wow Melanie Raabe, what an amazing, well written book that sucked me right in and held me right up until the end! Another 5 ⭐️ read to start of 2021! Atmospheric read ✔️ Psychological thriller ✔️ Mystery ✔️ Amazing layered symbolism ✔️ Norah has moved to Vienna, after leaving her boyfriend behind in Berlin, and soon after arriving, has a strange encounter with a mysterious woman on the street who prophesies that Norah will soon murder a man. Soon after, stranger and stranger things keep happening to Norah, and the man’s name, one of which she was previously unaware, keeps turning up somehow in her daily life. Aaaah, I loved this!! This book shifted my perspective, I felt uncomfortable and unsure of what was happening or what I was reading, and I’m so glad that it did that. Norah went on a journey and I went right along with her, examining her and her life and her psyche. Throughout, I was so impressed with all of the symbolism but at the same time, was certain that through it, I had determined what it was all leading to. About halfway through, I thought it might prove to be a bit stilted in plot even though the writing was strong. Ya, well no, although I figured out one aspect of the book, I in no way figured out all the rest of what was coming for me, the truths and uncoverings kept hitting me in waves. I kept saying to everyone around me, ‘ohh this book is soo good!’ I keep saying my reads so far this year would be good for book club discussion and this is another one I would recommend for that. I can’t even get into all of the notes I jotted down while reading because all the pieces I gleaned along the way would end up being spoilers as this is such a well written puzzle that isn’t missing any of it’s pieces. It is a translation from the book originally written in German and was very well translated, there were moments of small blips sometimes in conversation that likely flowed much better in its original language but I really felt they just added to the atmosphere. There are so many references from culture and literature and art and none of them are random or wasted and I will leave you with this one, ‘We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are’ ~Anaïs Nin Thanks to my goodreads friend Jayme for putting this one on my radar, I +++highly recommend that you see if you can figure out the shadow 🖤 **Thank-you to House of Anansi Press Inc and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy, this title is available now**

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Journalist Norah Richter has moved to Vienna from Berlin following the ending of a relationship. Shortly after her arrival an unnerving prophecy is made by an old beggar woman who tells her she will kill a man called Arthur Grimm of her own free will on February 11th. This date is deeply significant to Norah, that alongside a number of other weird events draws her into a web of intrigue and manipulation. The story is principally told from Norah’s perspective. First of all, having read The Trap s Journalist Norah Richter has moved to Vienna from Berlin following the ending of a relationship. Shortly after her arrival an unnerving prophecy is made by an old beggar woman who tells her she will kill a man called Arthur Grimm of her own free will on February 11th. This date is deeply significant to Norah, that alongside a number of other weird events draws her into a web of intrigue and manipulation. The story is principally told from Norah’s perspective. First of all, having read The Trap several years ago I know Melanie Raabe is an excellent writer and this latest novel is equally as good. There are some vivid descriptions for example, of Vienna, some startling images that feel theatrical or like a scene from a movie and you find yourself quickly drawn into the compelling and puzzling storytelling. Norah’s mixed emotions are depicted well as she’s learned over the years to be self reliant and self contained. There are some very likeable characters such as her loyal friends Max, Paul and Sandra. The events that occur are extremely unsettling, very hairs on the back of your neck creepy and you feel the fear. There are some jaw dropping twisty moments and I love the way the whole thing cleverly came together. Norah completely turns the tables once she figures out what’s happening and in the process she lays some ghosts to rest. I like the optimistic end. Overall. A really well written thriller that is engrossing which I recommend. The translation is excellent too as it flows extremely well. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Text Publishing for the ARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4.5 mind-blowing stars (rounded up for the ending) For most of this book, I felt like I had lots of puzzle pieces, but I was missing the cover of the box to know what I was putting together. The ending was the box cover and all the brilliant answers! Featuring a journalist who moves from Berlin to Vienna, Norah is ready for a fresh start. She leaves behind a mess from a previous story and a puzzled boyfriend. A homeless woman delivers a dire prophecy and a whole host of strange things begin happeni 4.5 mind-blowing stars (rounded up for the ending) For most of this book, I felt like I had lots of puzzle pieces, but I was missing the cover of the box to know what I was putting together. The ending was the box cover and all the brilliant answers! Featuring a journalist who moves from Berlin to Vienna, Norah is ready for a fresh start. She leaves behind a mess from a previous story and a puzzled boyfriend. A homeless woman delivers a dire prophecy and a whole host of strange things begin happening to Norah. Is the prophecy going to come true or was that just a random coincidence? As the fateful day of February 11 approaches, what will she do? This one had a huge twist that really got me! It’s hard to tell you much more as each reader needs to get to the conclusion without knowing all the backstory! Thank you to NetGalley and House of Anansi Press for the complimentary copy of this one to read and review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a fast paced and atmospheric psychological thriller and I really enjoyed it. It centers on Norah, who moves from Berlin to Vienna after a painful breakup. Almost as soon as she gets there, she is confronted by a beggar on the street telling her that she is going to kill a man on a certain date- she is horrified, as that date holds memories for her, and her worst fear is taking a life. From there, all kinds of creepy things keep happening until we finally figure out what is really going This was a fast paced and atmospheric psychological thriller and I really enjoyed it. It centers on Norah, who moves from Berlin to Vienna after a painful breakup. Almost as soon as she gets there, she is confronted by a beggar on the street telling her that she is going to kill a man on a certain date- she is horrified, as that date holds memories for her, and her worst fear is taking a life. From there, all kinds of creepy things keep happening until we finally figure out what is really going on at the end of the book, which is brilliantly done. The story started out a bit slow for me but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. Much of the stuff that happened to Norah was just unsettling, versus actually scary, but that just added to the overall feeling of something being off, and the reader is trying to figure it out right along with Norah. Norah definitely made decisions that I (and probably most reasonable people) would not make, but the author gave us enough insight into her character to make these decisions feel at least somewhat believable. There are a couple secrets revealed at the end of the book and the secondary storyline revolving Valerie was both surprising and interesting to me; it added to the overall story. While the culmination of the primary storyline is complex, I enjoyed the fact that this seemed like something that could have actually happened, despite the fact that it feels far-fetched. I always appreciate when an author takes something that seems like a stretch and makes it plausible. Overall, I enjoyed this book greatly and read through the 2nd half of it in one sitting. The story is unique and the book is atmospheric, and the loose ends were all tied up nicely. I'd definitely recommend the book to those who like psychological thrillers, and encourage you to keep reading if it doesn't suck you in right away. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    The Shadow is the third novel by German author, Melanie Raabe. It is flawlessly translated from German by Imogen Taylor. Abandoning her job, her home, her boyfriend and her dog, in January 2017, journalist Norah Richter heads to Vienna. A libel suit has eliminated any chance of her keeping her job, and she’s been head-hunted by the publisher of an Austrian magazine, so staying in Berlin isn’t really an option. But mere hours after her arrival in Vienna, a rather creepy old woman pronounces that The Shadow is the third novel by German author, Melanie Raabe. It is flawlessly translated from German by Imogen Taylor. Abandoning her job, her home, her boyfriend and her dog, in January 2017, journalist Norah Richter heads to Vienna. A libel suit has eliminated any chance of her keeping her job, and she’s been head-hunted by the publisher of an Austrian magazine, so staying in Berlin isn’t really an option. But mere hours after her arrival in Vienna, a rather creepy old woman pronounces that Norah will kill a man called Arthur Grimm at the Prater on February 11th with good reason, of her own free will. Norah decides this bizarre prophecy is best ignored; she dismisses the relevance of that date as coincidental. Norah does have some friends in Vienna, but she sees herself as an introvert, independent, self-sufficient, and quite happy to be living alone. For a while. But her work colleagues find her stand-offish, her flat is cold and sterile, and pangs of loneliness emerge, especially after some uncharacteristically terse communications from her Vienna friends, who then seem to withdraw. The upstairs tenant in her building tries to befriend her, but Norah is resistant. Then strange things begin happening: items go missing from her flat while others appear; the prophesised Arthur Grimm’s name comes up more than once; Norah feels she is being watched; she comes across a drowning victim; and she starts receiving strange anonymous text messages. A bit of research soon has her, incredibly, actually considering committing that murder. Raabe skilfully builds her plot, isolating Norah from her support base, unnerving her with slightly disturbing signs that trigger unhappy memories and instilling doubts about a trauma from her teenage years. The astute reader will quickly identify how this is being achieved, and by whom, but the ultimate reason for it, and the architect of the scheme remain a mystery that gradually unfolds. Norah comes across as aggressively principled and quite prickly, so perhaps not all that likeable, but by the time the final revelations are made, she will certainly be better understood. This is a brilliant psychological thriller with a distinctly European feel. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Text Publishing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sasa aka Sasko

    This is one of the most creative and original thrillers I have read in some time!The writing is surprisingly good and it flows well. It wasn't very hard to guess who is behind all the strange happenings but the motivation and why were bonkers.I wouldn't think of that reason in a million years.There were also a few smaller unpredictable twists by the end of the book.My only niggle is that it was a tad slow burn of a book and it was some time before it started been really interesting so I couldn't This is one of the most creative and original thrillers I have read in some time!The writing is surprisingly good and it flows well. It wasn't very hard to guess who is behind all the strange happenings but the motivation and why were bonkers.I wouldn't think of that reason in a million years.There were also a few smaller unpredictable twists by the end of the book.My only niggle is that it was a tad slow burn of a book and it was some time before it started been really interesting so I couldn't give it a full five stars but nevertheless a really good and different thriller!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Interesting concept - does a prophecy predict a future that is inevitable, or will it prompt us to fulfill the prediction? This character driven mystery was off to a slow start but I found the ending to be quite unexpected and original. Loved the atmospheric setting in a grey wintry Vienna, which brought back childhood memories. A perfect holiday read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Thank you to NetGalley and Text Publishing for the arc of the Shadow by Melanie Raabe and Imogen Taylor❤️ Thank you to Melanie Raabe and Imogen Taylor for writing this book❤️ This is translated from German🇩🇪 Journalist Norah Richter abandons her job, house, partner and her dog! January 2017 She heads to Vienna the Libel suit has stopped any chances of her keeping her own job. She's also been hunted by an Austrian magazine so her staying in Berlin isn't wise. 😞 After she gets to Vienna an old woman p Thank you to NetGalley and Text Publishing for the arc of the Shadow by Melanie Raabe and Imogen Taylor❤️ Thank you to Melanie Raabe and Imogen Taylor for writing this book❤️ This is translated from German🇩🇪 Journalist Norah Richter abandons her job, house, partner and her dog! January 2017 She heads to Vienna the Libel suit has stopped any chances of her keeping her own job. She's also been hunted by an Austrian magazine so her staying in Berlin isn't wise. 😞 After she gets to Vienna an old woman pronounces that she will kill this gentleman on February 11th called Arthur Grimm at Practer, with reason of her own will . She decides to ignore and she ignore the date as being coincidental.😳 She is an introvert but she does have friends in Vienna and but prefers to be living alone and independent, her work colleague thinks she's stand off ish her place is cold and sterile the person living upstairs wants to become friends with her but Norah is very insistent too🥺 Then twists and mysterious things starts to happen as her things start disappearing and things appearing, she feels like she is being watched by someone, she comes across a drowning victim then starts to receive texts messages off an unknown source but strange messages😩, then pending research she does she actually thinks about committing that murder that she was told ...😩😱 This is my first Melanie Raabe book, and this was worded and written executely in a perfected way, I love how all of it builds up from start to finish with all the twists and turns❤️ Recommend this book❤️ Definitely 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tez

    OMG, the final 100 pages. The concept is a bit naff, and I was kind of unsure in the beginning, but READ THIS!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    I really like a book that is different. 4.5 🌟

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alix

    The Shadow is an entertaining thriller set in Vienna. Definitely a page-turner. But the reveal and the actions leading up to it was just completely implausible in my opinion. And it seemed like the author kind of haphazardly inserted the reveal at the end about one of the characters having Borderline Personality Disorder. Overall, this is an engaging thriller but your mileage may vary depending on how plausible you view the ending.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joann

    I was really surprised by this book! Norah is trying to start a new life, She gets a quick fortune telling by a beggar in the street. Weird, but it triggers something in her. The date of the prediction is significant and troubling. Thus begins a wild ride with neighbors, friends, headed down a dangerous path that's a little obsessive at times. Things that happen are creepy, timing is all strange and Norah ends up turning the tables and putting pieces together just in time. I loved the twists, th I was really surprised by this book! Norah is trying to start a new life, She gets a quick fortune telling by a beggar in the street. Weird, but it triggers something in her. The date of the prediction is significant and troubling. Thus begins a wild ride with neighbors, friends, headed down a dangerous path that's a little obsessive at times. Things that happen are creepy, timing is all strange and Norah ends up turning the tables and putting pieces together just in time. I loved the twists, the unpredictability and never saw the end coming! Good read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gerrie

    The Shadow by Melanie Raabe (translated by Imogen Taylor) is a gripping psychological thriller, the third book by this very talented German writer. I was hooked by the prologue, as an unknown character regards her fate by a frozen lake, and decides to take action, with the intent to “destroy Norah.” In the very next chapter, the reader is then introduced to Norah Richter, a news writer and journalist, who is driving from Berlin to Vienna to begin a new life away from her troubled past and her par The Shadow by Melanie Raabe (translated by Imogen Taylor) is a gripping psychological thriller, the third book by this very talented German writer. I was hooked by the prologue, as an unknown character regards her fate by a frozen lake, and decides to take action, with the intent to “destroy Norah.” In the very next chapter, the reader is then introduced to Norah Richter, a news writer and journalist, who is driving from Berlin to Vienna to begin a new life away from her troubled past and her partner Alex. We learn that Norah believes in signs and prophecies. She is a loner and seen by her new co-workers as aloof and unfriendly. Conversely, she has a couple longtime friends from past years who live in Vienna and welcome her warmly. This is just one of the contrasts we see in the personality and actions of this enigmatic character. Norah is at once dark, troubled, self-sufficient, and a woman of action, trying to get her life and future under control. The rest of the characters in this novel are also a bit mysterious, but well-drawn and interesting. The story is told in a cinema verite’ style; the author is to be commended for her careful descriptions and evocative writing, as I could actually visualize each scene. There are some interesting side themes regarding the work of journalists and the world of performance art. As the suspense builds, there are many false leads and twists; the ending was and was not a total surprise to me, but it kept my attention to the story and the characters until the very end of the book. While there are allusions to revenge, men who abuse women, childhood trauma and self-fulfilling prophecy, ultimately this is an excellent psychological thriller with a compelling and complex heroine. An added pleasure for literary buffs is the many references to well-known works and quotes from famous authors sprinkled through the book. I strongly recommend this book to fans of suspense, European writers, and stories centered on strong female characters. I will definitely be looking for Ms. Raabe’s previous books to read. Thank you to House of Anansi Press, Inc. and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amie

    Thank you to Netgalley, Melanie, and Spiderline for an advance copy of The Shadow. 1) The Shadow has previously been published in German, the ARC that I received is for the release of the English translation. 2) I am weirdly attracted to books that have ferris wheels on the cover? Is this a thing? 3) I spent a couple of days in Vienna last winter and it’s such a beautiful place, and so rarely featured in books so it was lovely to get to escape back to that city for a bit (even given the sinister p Thank you to Netgalley, Melanie, and Spiderline for an advance copy of The Shadow. 1) The Shadow has previously been published in German, the ARC that I received is for the release of the English translation. 2) I am weirdly attracted to books that have ferris wheels on the cover? Is this a thing? 3) I spent a couple of days in Vienna last winter and it’s such a beautiful place, and so rarely featured in books so it was lovely to get to escape back to that city for a bit (even given the sinister plot!) The Shadow is a slow burn psychological thriller. When I say slow burn, I mean s l o w burn. There were times where I was like ‘okay give me something factual already!’ but ultimately, the pacing really does add to the anxiety and curiosity of the story. Norah leaves Berlin and her break up and moves to Vienna for a fresh start. Her bright outlook doesn’t last long however, as she encounters a homeless woman who tells her that she will kill a man named Arthur Grimm on February 11th of her own free will and with good reason. Who is Arthur Grimm? Who is this woman and why did she choose her? Most importantly, how does this strange woman know that February 11th is a significant date in Norah’s life? Soon after, things in Norah’s apartment start to disappear and items that aren’t hers start to turn up and Norah starts to spiral and begins a dangerous search for answers. The plot, as I mentioned, does move slowly. It builds slowly and then absolutely explodes, along with some aftershocks. Norah’s history does play a significant role and we learn about it, but it doesn’t engulf the present day story, which I really enjoyed. Sometimes the flashbacks or backstory can eat up the plot and get in the way. We don’t get to know the side characters very well, but they did their job as supporting cast. Norah was actually a very likable and relatable character. Her flaws were just enough that you could understand why she was/felt/did the things she did. All in all it was an enjoyable story that I could imagine myself in, I loved the art references (vanitas paintings are among my favorites) and the twists were original and super creative.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This was similar to the other books I have read by her insofar as the main character is a woman that gets increasingly more unreliable both to the reader (up to the point where you are not quite sure anymore whether you can trust her account) and with her ending up not knowing whether she can still trust herself or those around her. This isolation of the main character was even exacerbated in this one since it does not only stem from plot developments and/or the main character being a recluse in This was similar to the other books I have read by her insofar as the main character is a woman that gets increasingly more unreliable both to the reader (up to the point where you are not quite sure anymore whether you can trust her account) and with her ending up not knowing whether she can still trust herself or those around her. This isolation of the main character was even exacerbated in this one since it does not only stem from plot developments and/or the main character being a recluse in a place she has lived in for a while but is already tied to the very premise of Norah having recently moved to a new city where she knows very few people. As always, Melanie Raabe's writing style is beautifully lyrical which makes it pleasantly stand out in the thriller genre, all the while being addictive and really making you want to keep reading and find out how everything is connected. I liked Norah as a character, if not always as a person. The descriptions of just having arrived in a new place where you are desperately trying to get a new start were relatable. I especially loved how the cold, anonymous city was described, together with Norah's frequent brushes with death through signs or posters she saw in the city. I most definitely did NOT call the twist(s) at the end – while I did note down one suspicion about 60% through that turned out to be kind of correct, it did so with a totally different character constellation than what I expected. Speaking of twists, now for the things I did not like: It was just one too many for me personally. After the Big Plottwist head been revealed, I personally would not have needed any further (albeit minor) twists -- they felt kind of manipulative and try-hard to me. I would have been fine with just having Norah's reactions described. I personally could also have done without the very last paragraph on the very last page because to me it seemed at worst contradictory to what state of mind she had just reached towards the end, at best not full-on contradictory but still not quite in the same vein of the sense of belonging, cutting ties and break with the past that the ending seemed to have been about to me. I do see why [that thing I’m not spoiling] makes sense in context, but I'd personally have preferred to think it to myself, not for it to be explicitly in the book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    KKEC Reads

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Melanie Raabe and team for the opportunity to read and review for you. “‘Now you listen to me, you fuckwit,’ she said softly. ‘I don’t care why you’re the way you are. I don’t care if you had a deprived childhood or if you have complexes about your microscopic dick—though I assume you do. None of that interests me. But if ever I see you treat that lady or anyone else like that again, I’ll hire myself an Andrej or a Gia I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Melanie Raabe and team for the opportunity to read and review for you. “‘Now you listen to me, you fuckwit,’ she said softly. ‘I don’t care why you’re the way you are. I don’t care if you had a deprived childhood or if you have complexes about your microscopic dick—though I assume you do. None of that interests me. But if ever I see you treat that lady or anyone else like that again, I’ll hire myself an Andrej or a Giancarlo or a Ditmir, or whatever those reliable Albanians are called, and after that, you can count yourself lucky if you can hobble into the bank on crutches.’” Melanie Raabe has published more than four novels to date, and she shows no sign of slowing down. Melanie Raabe is a German journalist and novelist. Her intelligence is obvious, and her education is impressive. She writes devious thriller novels that leave her readers gasping for more. Norah is smart, wise, and no afraid to speak her mind when necessary. This was a pretty decent book. A tad slow to get going, but it picked up a bit. The narrative kind of drones on a bit, but it’s a good plot. The descriptions of surroundings are so well done, you’ll feel like you’re there. Norah has an impressive growth throughout this book. Her journey is worth the read. It is very apparent that Melanie Raabe is a very well education, deeply intelligent individual. She gives so much detail, it’s almost like you’re watching a movie instead of reading a novel.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    This novel would have blindsided me completely if I hadn’t seen a play by Neil LaBute with a similar twist. It was still an unexpected plot, very dark and with philosophical implications that gave me a lot to think about. Norah is a journalist with issues. She recently moved from Berlin to Vienna and the city is gloomy and depressing. Then one day a homeless woman makes a prophecy and Norah seems to do everything possible to fulfill it, even if it’s not a good prophecy. The novel is very atmosph This novel would have blindsided me completely if I hadn’t seen a play by Neil LaBute with a similar twist. It was still an unexpected plot, very dark and with philosophical implications that gave me a lot to think about. Norah is a journalist with issues. She recently moved from Berlin to Vienna and the city is gloomy and depressing. Then one day a homeless woman makes a prophecy and Norah seems to do everything possible to fulfill it, even if it’s not a good prophecy. The novel is very atmospheric, you can almost feel the cold Austrian winter and hear the cracking boards in Norah’s apartment. The plot is well-built, and the clues fit together like a puzzle. Once the mystery is solved, it makes perfect sense and I kept going back to the story and analyzing it with that knowledge. It held up. Norah is not a likable character. She is aloof and stubborn and just plain weird. At some point I got so wrapped up in the story that I kept yelling at her in my head. The ending is also really good. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/ House of Anansi Press Inc.!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susana Rio

    Great premise and fantastic writing. Melanie Raabe is an amazing writer and the plot of the book was really interesting. I really enjoyed learning about Norah and the fact that I could not tell whether she was a reliable character or not. The isolation and the move to a new city made it quite interesting and the little clues provided by the author made it interesting for me. My only slight problem was that the book was quite slow paced at the beginning and it was difficult for me to keep engaged. Great premise and fantastic writing. Melanie Raabe is an amazing writer and the plot of the book was really interesting. I really enjoyed learning about Norah and the fact that I could not tell whether she was a reliable character or not. The isolation and the move to a new city made it quite interesting and the little clues provided by the author made it interesting for me. My only slight problem was that the book was quite slow paced at the beginning and it was difficult for me to keep engaged. Nevertheless, once it started picking up pace, it was really good. The plot twists were really good and the ending was also good although it left me with some questions. I would have liked that the last part of the book was explored a little bit more in detail. Overall, it was a good read with a really good plot and I can’t wait to read more books by the talented Melanie Raabe. I would like to thank Netgalley and Text Publishing for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

  23. 5 out of 5

    Doris Wiggins

    Norah has recently moved to a new city. So she knows that no one knows who she is. She has been approached by a random homeless woman that warns her that she will kill someone on the eleventh of the month. Norah is quite taken aback. That is the date that her best friend committed suicide. To make matters worse she starts receiving odd text messages. Then things start disappearing from her apartment. To make things more difficult, shes finding odd stuff that doesn't belong to her. Friends that s Norah has recently moved to a new city. So she knows that no one knows who she is. She has been approached by a random homeless woman that warns her that she will kill someone on the eleventh of the month. Norah is quite taken aback. That is the date that her best friend committed suicide. To make matters worse she starts receiving odd text messages. Then things start disappearing from her apartment. To make things more difficult, shes finding odd stuff that doesn't belong to her. Friends that she's known since school are avoiding her, and seem angry at her. She doesn't know what is going on, but she is definitely determined to find out. She is being manipulated and she needs to discover why and by whom. An intriguing read that keeps you guessing what will happen next. Recommended!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nia Ireland

    This book really set the autumn mood for me, with its chilly and bleak mood. Norah has moved to Vienna following some kind of incident in Berlin, to be revealed later in the book, she brings with her a few boxes and a sense of general depression which really resonated. For me, the pacing of this novel was a bit off as the suspense didn’t quite have the boldness needed to complement the wonderfully dramatic ending. It felt a little like two books squished into one, a psychological drama of Norah o This book really set the autumn mood for me, with its chilly and bleak mood. Norah has moved to Vienna following some kind of incident in Berlin, to be revealed later in the book, she brings with her a few boxes and a sense of general depression which really resonated. For me, the pacing of this novel was a bit off as the suspense didn’t quite have the boldness needed to complement the wonderfully dramatic ending. It felt a little like two books squished into one, a psychological drama of Norah overcoming her past and a thriller mystery. The latter not reaching the same standard as the former. Despite the suspense not quite hitting the mark for me, I really enjoyed the atmospheric nature of the book – I really got a sense of the city and Norah’s loneliness, which kept me turning pages til the end. *I received an ARC of this title*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I’ve never read anything by Raabe, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was a gem of psychological suspense with a lot going on. The protagonist is Norah, who has just moved to Vienna for a new job. She’s told a cryptic message by a stranger on the street and it unleashes a whole slew of crazy making events. I loved Norah’s character and the way she is willing to fight for others who are unjustly treated. I love how she takes charge of her own destiny and stands up against tyranny. She is an int I’ve never read anything by Raabe, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was a gem of psychological suspense with a lot going on. The protagonist is Norah, who has just moved to Vienna for a new job. She’s told a cryptic message by a stranger on the street and it unleashes a whole slew of crazy making events. I loved Norah’s character and the way she is willing to fight for others who are unjustly treated. I love how she takes charge of her own destiny and stands up against tyranny. She is an intelligent, modern woman. The plot was full of intrigue and held my attention throughout. The mystery began to unfold in little nuggets, but I was completely blown away by the ending, which was brilliant. Many thanks to Netgalley, Edelweiss, Spiderline and Melanie Raabe for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Mayer

    The synopsis of this book is what drew me in. I was so intrigued by it, and I had to know why Norah believed the woman’s prophecy and if she would actually follow through with killing Arthur Grimm. To be honest, if the second half of this book hadn’t been so engaging and suspenseful, I would have given it a lower rating. The first half of the book dragged on so much that I considered not finishing it, but I’m so glad that I did. The pacing and buildup in the second half was so much better, and th The synopsis of this book is what drew me in. I was so intrigued by it, and I had to know why Norah believed the woman’s prophecy and if she would actually follow through with killing Arthur Grimm. To be honest, if the second half of this book hadn’t been so engaging and suspenseful, I would have given it a lower rating. The first half of the book dragged on so much that I considered not finishing it, but I’m so glad that I did. The pacing and buildup in the second half was so much better, and the outcome of the story was absolutely phenomenal. I honestly didn’t see any of it coming! For that alone, I highly recommend this book. *I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  27. 5 out of 5

    Agnieszka

    Soon after Nora moves from Berlin to Vienna, a homeless woman prophesies that she will kill a man named Arthur Grimm on the 11th of February. But Nora neither knows him nor has she got a reason to kill him. Or does she? I have read The Trap by Melanie Raabe, and I really enjoyed it, so I was excited to be approved for this ARC. The story started off promising and got me intrigued, but sadly I found that it was very slow and uneventful, and that made me skim-read big chunks of it. The twist at the Soon after Nora moves from Berlin to Vienna, a homeless woman prophesies that she will kill a man named Arthur Grimm on the 11th of February. But Nora neither knows him nor has she got a reason to kill him. Or does she? I have read The Trap by Melanie Raabe, and I really enjoyed it, so I was excited to be approved for this ARC. The story started off promising and got me intrigued, but sadly I found that it was very slow and uneventful, and that made me skim-read big chunks of it. The twist at the end, however, turned out to be unexpected and shocking, and I was, therefore, in two minds about the rating. In the end, though, after some deliberation, I just couldn't justify raising the rating. For me, it was an average read, but I'm sure it will find its fans.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alicia McLeod

    This was such a fun read! I loved Raabe’s concise writing style. It kept the story moving at a rapid pace and kept me turning page after page way after bed time! Absolutely outstanding imagery that played out like a movie in my head while I read. Norah has hard a hard few months. She loses her job and long-term relationship, causing her to pack up and move to a brand new city. Her first week there, a mysterious beggar prophesies something sinister in Norah’s future. Norah becomes obsessed at get This was such a fun read! I loved Raabe’s concise writing style. It kept the story moving at a rapid pace and kept me turning page after page way after bed time! Absolutely outstanding imagery that played out like a movie in my head while I read. Norah has hard a hard few months. She loses her job and long-term relationship, causing her to pack up and move to a brand new city. Her first week there, a mysterious beggar prophesies something sinister in Norah’s future. Norah becomes obsessed at getting to the bottom of this prophecy. With many twists and turns, lovable and relatable characters, The Shadow is a great read! I received an ARC of #TheShadow from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  29. 5 out of 5

    Filip

    The Shadow is a good mystery novel. At beginning it drags a little and takes it time to move to the point. But latter paceing improves. There are some really chilling moments and novel captures dread and cold of Wiena really great, it has at times intense sense of mystery and like some big revalation is coming. This brings me to the big problem of the book. The big revelation falls flat to me and whole novel felt like it wasn't that big of a deal. Such a shame. Also characters are mostly unlikab The Shadow is a good mystery novel. At beginning it drags a little and takes it time to move to the point. But latter paceing improves. There are some really chilling moments and novel captures dread and cold of Wiena really great, it has at times intense sense of mystery and like some big revalation is coming. This brings me to the big problem of the book. The big revelation falls flat to me and whole novel felt like it wasn't that big of a deal. Such a shame. Also characters are mostly unlikable. And yes I really hated left wing bullcrap and feminism that author tried to show it down the readers throat. In the end give The Shadow a try, you my like it more than me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steph Elias

    The Shadow was such an amazing book! I was about 25% through and had no real idea what was happening. But, I could not put it down and ended up finishing the book in the next sitting. Crazy good! It is a story about a woman that moves to Vienna and strange stuff starts happening. She meets a homeless lady that tells her she is going to kill a guy on February 11th and it just takes off from there. It is such a rollercoaster ride. The mystery is solid and unbelievably good. The characters were fan The Shadow was such an amazing book! I was about 25% through and had no real idea what was happening. But, I could not put it down and ended up finishing the book in the next sitting. Crazy good! It is a story about a woman that moves to Vienna and strange stuff starts happening. She meets a homeless lady that tells her she is going to kill a guy on February 11th and it just takes off from there. It is such a rollercoaster ride. The mystery is solid and unbelievably good. The characters were fantastic. I felt the tension rising with every weird thing that happened to Norah. The ending is the best, seriously shocking. One of the best mysteries I have read in ages.

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