Title: The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of a Marriage
Author: Anja Reich-Osang
Genre: Mystery, True Crime, Historical Fiction (Germany)
Date of Publication: October 3, 2016
Publishing House: Text Publishing Company
Goodreads Rating: 3.54
Personal Rating: 3.5 / 5
In December 2011, a corpse was found in a forest in Ludwigsfelde, a small and peaceful town south of Berlin. The body was hidden between pine trees, covered with leaves. The victim was Brigitte Scholl, sixty-seven, cosmetician and wife of Ludwigsfelde’s former mayor Heinrich Scholl. There were rumours that Brigitte was raped and killed by a serial killer. While the police hunted for the murderer, parents kept their children indoors, and joggers avoided the forest. Three weeks later, the police arrested the victim’s husband.
The residents were shocked. Heinrich Scholl was well-respected in his community, regarded as the most successful mayor of East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This charming man had it all: a successful career, influential friends and a marriage of almost fifty years. But behind closed doors, it was a very different story. Friends and family were staggered at the picture that emerged during the trial.
In 2012, Heinrich Scholl was pronounced guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. To this day, he pleads not guilty. Journalist and author Anja Reich-Osang followed the trial and talked to family, friends and Heinrich Scholl himself. She tells a gripping story about marriage, sex and politics, where nothing is as it seems.
(Credit to http://www.goodreads.com)
My Personal Thoughts
I am totally mind-blown by this book! The synopsis itself astounded me that much so I requested this copy from Text Publishing to be read and reviewed here in my blog (Thank You!). This was sent to me in exchange for an honest and fair review. I must admit that this story is pretty gripping and intense! I read and finished it in two consecutive days (with bladder break in between, hahaha!). The Mystery/Crime/Thriller genre triggers my adrenaline so badly! I am able to explore and deal with a wrecked relationship; how it affected both the husband and the wife not just physically but emotionally as well.
The story took place in a small town called Ludwigsfelde. It is set right after the World War II. This is the place where the two main characters, Henry and Brigitte, grew up and built their family. I am not sure if young adult readers will find this creation appealing because the setting per se is kind of odd and boring. I personally enjoy reading historical fiction themed books so I did not have a hard time appreciating its beauty.
The main character is Henry Scholl. He is accused and convicted for allegedly murdering and raping his wife. He is an intelligent man, career-oriented, and reserved. He always does things that he thinks is right but he mistakenly did one thing that is not right, and that is marrying Brigitte. It is all for obligation and the promise of belonging. He gets what he wants but not the affection that he needs from his wife. He is actually considered a miserable man. Brigitte, on the other hand, is a glamorous woman who came from a well-off family. She is sophisticated and always after on what other people will think of her and their family. She is an almost-perfect wife except for the fact that she is constantly neglecting Henry.
The writing style is awesome! I am really impressed by how the author showed the readers a real life situation. All the important details to be expected are present; from the day that the couple met until the day that the horrifying death of Brigitte occurred. All the people around their circle are interviewed in a manner that the significant details in the case are presented. This is a very interesting case because a couple who have been married for 50 years and overcame plenty of obstacles in their relationship still ended up being separated, but this one is very tragic. Overall it is a fun reading experience but there are certain things that I dislike about it. There is no closure and the case is not solved, yet. I am left puzzled and hanging; I still want more, more information, and more of everything. The third person narration also bothered me because I am not able to look at Henry’s perspective to be able to understand or guess if he really murdered his wife. I am giving this book 3.5 out of 5.
I made a lot of realizations after diving into their world but I will just state the major thing that made a huge impact on me. Forced relationships do not really work out well. I have met some people in the past who underwent the same situation like Henry and Brigitte (not the tragic part, though). It is so depressing to find two people who are just staying for the sake of the kids or for the sake of not having a broken family. It is stupid and heartbreaking to be in a situation like this. They do not love each other even from the start. They just need each other and it is a win-win situation. This is indeed one of the worst feelings in the world. If you do not want to be with the person any longer, just be straight forward about it. There is no point in staying when you are both aware that you are better off without the other person. In the end, it will just ruin the whole family which is exactly what happened to the main characters. Respect should always be present because once it is gone, everything else will fall.