3.5 out of 5 stars
Trier is one of Germany’s oldest cities, scratch the surface and the history goes back and beyond the Romans if you know where to look. It is also known for wine and a relatively peaceful life. However, when a body is found in unusual circumstances, it is covered in noble rot, then the authorities realise that it needs an unconventional investigation. A call is put into the Abteilungand and Investigator Tobias Winter is dispatched to the city. He is joined by one of the local police, Vanessa Summer, to see if they can fathom out just what is going on, but first, he is going to have to explain to her just what he does and why he is there…
Their leads take them to the owner of a local vineyard, Jacky Stracker, who is the latest in a long line of family members who have a deep connection to the land and the loci around. She tells them some stories about her grandfather and how he used to leave offerings to the river. Tobias buys a bottle of wine and leaves it on the tree with his business card. Shortly after, he is rung up by a lady calling herself Kelly, she is the goddess of the river and wants to talk. It doesn’t take long for them to find out who he is and discover who his friends are. Bringing them in for questioning reveals that they are just a group of guys who want to drink wine and talk about art. But there is something else going on, and slowly it dawns on them they are witnessing the continuation of a conflict that has been going on for over a century in the magical realm of the city.
I liked this a lot and it was an interesting story taken from the perspective of the German equivalents to Grant and Nightingale. The plot was fairly straightforward with some nice touches and interplay between the two main characters. You also get the sense that he spent a fair amount of time there researching the city, and it has those details that I have come to expect in the previous books as we tear around London. However, I did miss Peter, Nightingale, the Folly and London that I have come to know from all the other books. Would be good to see each character travel to each other’s city in future books.