The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang tells the true story of an investigative journalist who’s looking into the death of Birgitte Scholl, a popular woman in the town of Ludwigsfelde, where she lived with her husband Heinrich.
Heinrich was mayor of Ludwigsfelde, and a popular one by most accounts. Living a prolific life, he had spread his talents across many fields, including building a nudist spa in the town. When his wife died and Heinrich was arrested for her murder, the case sent shockwaves through the community in which they lived.
Was he guilty? What makes a murderer?
These are the questions Reich-Osang set out to answer when she began looking into the case. Visiting Heinrich in prison, she uncovers his side of the story and weaves it expertly throughout the book, interviewing friends and family whose points of view are told alongside his.
It’s a really good book, whether you’re into crime fiction, true crime, investigative journalism, or just like a good story.
One disconcerting aspect was that I kept forgetting I was reading something true. It reads like a novel – easy to get through, hard to put down, and never boring.
Another thing that freaked me out slightly was how much I related to Heinrich Scholl. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit that in a public arena. But I did. When you look at someone’s background and life story – even someone who’s been accused of murder – it humanises them somehow, makes them seem less Other. I could see how all the things that had happened throughout his life could have led him to this point, sitting in a cell talking to a journalist about why he’s been accused of murdering his wife.
Did he do it? You’ll have to read the book and make your own decision.
The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang is published by TEXT and was released on the 29th of December 2016.
I received a review copy from the publisher. All views are my own.