A gripping novel about a young woman’s search for the truth behind her mother’s death that leads her deep into the sinister circles of right-wing nationalists.
The Kaiserwald Duology, Book 1
by Anja Jonuleit
Penguin, February 2024
‘Your mother has disappeared.’ That’s all he said, while a series of emotions crossed his face: disbelief, shock, and finally that fear. That’s what I remember most: the fear, which now haunted the world like a genie released from its bottle. St John’s Eve, 1997: 15-year-old Alise is found unconscious on the shores of Lake Kisezers in Riga. Easter 1998: Rebecca Maywald, a teacher at the German School in Riga, disappears without a trace. She leaves behind an 8-year-old daughter, who is convinced she’ll find her mother again some day. The years that follow are years of uncertainty – and then an anonymous letter changes everything. Berlin, 2023: Ex-mountain trooper Mathilda intentionally crashes her car in order to meet Falk von Prokhoff, scion of a distinguished diplomatic family. Mathilda desperately wants to break into their inner circle – but her motives are as yet unclear. Little does she suspect that she’ll end up falling in love with Falk… and so begins a dangerous game of false identities, unsolved crimes and nefarious far-right political schemes… For readers of Donna Tartt, Alena Schröder and Trude Teige.
Anja Jonuleit, born in 1965, grew up on Lake Constance and spent a few years working for the German Embassy in Rome. After a secondment at the Embassy in Damascus, she studied Italian and English at the SDI in Munich. Back on Lake Constance, she worked as a freelance translator and court interpreter before becoming a full-time writer in 2007. Her books are immensely popular and regular bestsellers. She tackles the big topics of our time with great sensitivity and insight, telling stories of dysfunctional families and relationships, toxic social structures, and threats against which it’s hard to protect ourselves and those around us. Following « Herbstvergessene », « Der Apfelsammler », « Rabenfrauen », « Das letzte Bild » and other novels, she has now written a panoramic two-book family drama (« Kaiserwald », out in Spring 2024, and « Solstice », out in Autumn 2024).