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Death on the Beach

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A teenage girl is missing. Why don’t her parents care? A fourteen-year-old girl disappears on the small island of Föhr, and Detective Lena Lorenzen is called in to investigate. When the girl’s bloodied body is found on the beach with vicious wounds to the wrist, Lena immediately suspects that what’s been made to look like suicide was in fact a brutal and calculated murd A teenage girl is missing. Why don’t her parents care? A fourteen-year-old girl disappears on the small island of Föhr, and Detective Lena Lorenzen is called in to investigate. When the girl’s bloodied body is found on the beach with vicious wounds to the wrist, Lena immediately suspects that what’s been made to look like suicide was in fact a brutal and calculated murder.But the local residents—even the girl’s own parents—won’t cooperate with her investigation. The devoutly religious islanders are clearly hiding something. But what ungodly secret could possibly lead to the murder of an innocent teenage girl?Soon Lena realises that the isolated island holds darker secrets than she ever could have feared. In her toughest investigation yet, she must confront her own past if she is to catch the killer—before they strike again.


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A teenage girl is missing. Why don’t her parents care? A fourteen-year-old girl disappears on the small island of Föhr, and Detective Lena Lorenzen is called in to investigate. When the girl’s bloodied body is found on the beach with vicious wounds to the wrist, Lena immediately suspects that what’s been made to look like suicide was in fact a brutal and calculated murd A teenage girl is missing. Why don’t her parents care? A fourteen-year-old girl disappears on the small island of Föhr, and Detective Lena Lorenzen is called in to investigate. When the girl’s bloodied body is found on the beach with vicious wounds to the wrist, Lena immediately suspects that what’s been made to look like suicide was in fact a brutal and calculated murder.But the local residents—even the girl’s own parents—won’t cooperate with her investigation. The devoutly religious islanders are clearly hiding something. But what ungodly secret could possibly lead to the murder of an innocent teenage girl?Soon Lena realises that the isolated island holds darker secrets than she ever could have feared. In her toughest investigation yet, she must confront her own past if she is to catch the killer—before they strike again.

30 review for Death on the Beach

  1. 4 out of 5

    JEN A

    I received an advance copy of this book from net galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. Release date for this book is 15 May 2020 Stylish thriller but had a typical ending. This novel is your basic mystery/thriller. The characters were mostly interesting but the story didn’t really have any punch to it. I had figured out who the killer was very quickly and that made the book only so-so for me. I liked the main character though and plan to try another book in the series down the I received an advance copy of this book from net galley and the publisher in return for an honest review. Release date for this book is 15 May 2020 Stylish thriller but had a typical ending. This novel is your basic mystery/thriller. The characters were mostly interesting but the story didn’t really have any punch to it. I had figured out who the killer was very quickly and that made the book only so-so for me. I liked the main character though and plan to try another book in the series down the road.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Luvtoread

    Very Good Detective Mystery Detective Lena Lorenzen is taking a few days vacation to stay with her boyfriend,when she receives a call from her superior to investigate a fourteen year old girl who went missing on an island village off the coast of Germany nearby where she is visiting. Lena is a dedicated detective and when she hears the missing person is a child she drops everything to help on this case. Lena is unprepared for the uncooperative reactions from the girl's parents and neighbors until Very Good Detective Mystery Detective Lena Lorenzen is taking a few days vacation to stay with her boyfriend,when she receives a call from her superior to investigate a fourteen year old girl who went missing on an island village off the coast of Germany nearby where she is visiting. Lena is a dedicated detective and when she hears the missing person is a child she drops everything to help on this case. Lena is unprepared for the uncooperative reactions from the girl's parents and neighbors until she finds out that they all belong to a religious sect that has alienated themselves from the regular townsfolk and Lena will have to dig hard to find out why all the secrecy and cold indifference to her looking for information about the girl. A few days later the body.of a young girl is found dead on the beach. Now the detective will have more suspects than she can handle and why didn't the parents report their daughter missing and why was it their other estranged daughter Johanna who had alerted the police about her missing sister instead of their parents. This was a very enjoyable book for me. I loved reading about the different cultures of other countries, expressly small coastal village life and their close communities. I enjoyed the detective Lena character and her young sidekick Johan who closely worked with her and their fun relationship. The story shows the difficulty that sadly still goes on today of being a woman detective in a previously man's role and some of the hostility she receives while working in this community where they follow the old biblical roles of the man will be the ruler of the house and his family and the woman will be submissive to his word and will. The struggles Lena encounters are enormous and are putting a tremendous strain on her personal relationship. I hope there will be other books following these interesting characters because I will surely be in the line-up to read them.I I sincerely want to thank "Amazon Publishing UK" and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this terrific ebook and any thoughts and opinions expressed are unbiased and mine alone! I would definitely recommend this interesting book and have given a rating of 4 Intriguing 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Stars!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 Island Mystery Series #2 DI Lena Lorenzen is investigating the disappearance of fourteen year old Maria who lived on the remote island, Fohr. Maria's parents are part of a religious sect. The girls body is soon found and it ,looks like she's been murdered. Lena and her partner DS Johann Grassman are shocked by the lack of cooperation from the religious cult, including the girls parents. Thenstory is narrated by Lena. I was pulled in from the first page. The investigation i 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 Island Mystery Series #2 DI Lena Lorenzen is investigating the disappearance of fourteen year old Maria who lived on the remote island, Fohr. Maria's parents are part of a religious sect. The girls body is soon found and it ,looks like she's been murdered. Lena and her partner DS Johann Grassman are shocked by the lack of cooperation from the religious cult, including the girls parents. Thenstory is narrated by Lena. I was pulled in from the first page. The investigation is complex due to everyone being tight lipped. Lena is also,dealing with some personal issues. Theres plenty of twists in this gripping read. I did feel a little disappointed with the ending. I would like to thank NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and the author Anna Johannsen for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    JEN A

    Stylish thriller but had a typical ending. This novel is your basic mystery/thriller. The characters were mostly interesting but the story didn’t really have any punch to it. I had figured out who the killer was very quickly and that made the book only so-so for me. I liked the main character though and plan to try another book in the series down the road.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4 Island Mystery Series #2 DI Lena Lorenzen is investigating the disappearance of fourteen year old Maria who lived on the remote island Fohr. Maria's parents are part of a religious sect. The girls body is soon found and it looks like she's been murdered. Lena and her partner DS Johann Grassman are shocked by the lack of cooperation from the religious cult including the girls parents. The story is narrated by Lena. I was pulled in from the first page. The investigation is 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 Island Mystery Series #2 DI Lena Lorenzen is investigating the disappearance of fourteen year old Maria who lived on the remote island Fohr. Maria's parents are part of a religious sect. The girls body is soon found and it looks like she's been murdered. Lena and her partner DS Johann Grassman are shocked by the lack of cooperation from the religious cult including the girls parents. The story is narrated by Lena. I was pulled in from the first page. The investigation is complex due to everyone being tight lipped. Lena is also dealing with some personal issues. Theres plenty of twists in this gripping read. Imdid feel a little disappointed with the ending. I would like to thank NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK, and the author Anna Johannsen for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Xavier Hugonet

    Death on the Beach is a second book by German author Anna Johannsen in her Island Mystery series featuring detective Lena Lorenzen. It has been masterfully translated into the Queen’s English by Jozef Van Der Voort, whose words flow seamlessly. It can be read without knowledge of the first book. Lena Lorenzen in on holiday on her home island of Amrun, after a first case during which she rekindled her relationship with her boyfriend of fourteen years ago. Her Superintendent asks her, as a favour, Death on the Beach is a second book by German author Anna Johannsen in her Island Mystery series featuring detective Lena Lorenzen. It has been masterfully translated into the Queen’s English by Jozef Van Der Voort, whose words flow seamlessly. It can be read without knowledge of the first book. Lena Lorenzen in on holiday on her home island of Amrun, after a first case during which she rekindled her relationship with her boyfriend of fourteen years ago. Her Superintendent asks her, as a favour, to help local authorities to look into the disappearance of a teenage girl on the neighbour island of Föhr, whose parents belong to a extreme conservative free church considered a sect by most of the islanders. Her relationship with her DSU having improved thanks to her first case, she accepts the assignment. She very quickly gets stonewalled by uncooperative parents, mistrusting of authorities, and feeling persecuted for their faith. Even the mother isn’t cooperative at first, as it’s customary for wives to bend to the will of their husbands among their brethren. The investigators will frustratingly get the same hostile treatment from all other members of the flock. However, when the girl is found dead, Lorenzen takes charge of the investigation, and things start to change. This is a complex case, as events turn the inquiries into new directions, and more people get probed. The victim herself, Maria, turns out not to be who everyone thought she was, and the investigation can’t go anywhere without learning to know the victim. Lorenzen went to the same school as Maria, and knows the principal. Two teachers, apparently a little too close to the girl, quickly become persons of interest, but so do several of the students, and some members of the church. Meanwhile, Maria’s real personality is slowly unveiled by the investigators, and so are her movements in the last days of her life, in a way reminiscent of Laura Palmer’s in David Lynch’s cult series. A lot of time is also spent on Lena Lorenzen’s personal life. But, she doesn’t appear as very likable to the reader at first, Her behavior towards local police, for example, is rather harsh, bordering on bullying, which seems unwarranted. We learn about her relationships with her family, her estranged father, her love interest, and an ex-lover, while the secondary characters aren’t much developed, if at all. It would have been interesting to get to know some of them a little more, such as Leon, the grumpy hacker whiz. Instead, we stick with the one main character. The whole police procedural part of the book is captivating, and it’s not a book you want to put down. It unfortunately all leads to quite an anticlimactic ending, making the reader feel like he spent time working to solve the puzzle for nothing. Not that it isn’t realistic, in a police investigation sense, but realistic doesn’t always make for good crime books endings. In spite of this, it was a good quick read, and I’ll be back for the next entry in the series, hoping for more secondary character development, and an ending to root for. 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. Thanks to Thomas and Mercer, Amazon Publishing UK and Netgalley for the ARC provided in exchange for this unbiased review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Death in remote Northern Freisland! A solid, enjoyable, Scandi noir read! Detective Lena Lorenzen is called out to the suicide of a fourteen-year-old girl on the small island of Föhrn part of the North Frisian islands. An area Lena is very aware of, an island she grew up on and left long ago. It's the beginning of her leave. Six days she was going to spend with Erck. A relationship that's only be rekindled for a few weeks after a fourteen year break. A call from her boss Detective Superintendent W Death in remote Northern Freisland! A solid, enjoyable, Scandi noir read! Detective Lena Lorenzen is called out to the suicide of a fourteen-year-old girl on the small island of Föhrn part of the North Frisian islands. An area Lena is very aware of, an island she grew up on and left long ago. It's the beginning of her leave. Six days she was going to spend with Erck. A relationship that's only be rekindled for a few weeks after a fourteen year break. A call from her boss Detective Superintendent Warnke puts paid to that. Warnke has asked for a favor. The girl was a member of a strictly devout free church that the rest of community views as a cult and has little time for. On the surface Maria Logener death is a suicide. Something bothers Lena about it and she has a forensic team flown over with autopsy findings fast tracked. That suicide is a murder. Meanwhile on the personal level Lena is having trouble with committing long term to Erck. And then when additional members are added to the investigation from the mainland, a former officer Lena met a a conference and had a one night stand with, turns up as part of the team. Complications indeed! A death has occurred. The religious group Maria was part of is unhelpfully set against any outsiders, the rest of the island community are starting to feel their reservations about the group are justified and things could go very badly very quickly. Apart from the ugly circumstances around Maria's death, also exposed are the community's prejudices, bullying, and less than stellar police work. An Amazon UK ARC via NetGalley

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Book 2 in this Island Mystery series. This second novel has for me established this as a new crime / police procedural set of stories set among the North Frisian islands. DI Lena Lorenzen is the lead investigator who holds it all together with her personal links to the locations and her thorough police methods. Managing and leading her team with passion, diligence and long hours of hard work. Due to her local knowledge and as a safe pair of hands. Lena is asked to oversee the hunt for a missing te Book 2 in this Island Mystery series. This second novel has for me established this as a new crime / police procedural set of stories set among the North Frisian islands. DI Lena Lorenzen is the lead investigator who holds it all together with her personal links to the locations and her thorough police methods. Managing and leading her team with passion, diligence and long hours of hard work. Due to her local knowledge and as a safe pair of hands. Lena is asked to oversee the hunt for a missing teenager. It is a sensitive case as the young girl’s family belong to a conservative religious congregation. Her boss declares an interest in avoiding negative publicity and allows her a wide scope of investigation with resources when it appears the young woman may have been murdered. The locations are stunningly shared within the story. The subject matter always a difficult one is approached with great insight and respect. The death is treated with care and without sensational detail. The family links as well as the closed Christian sect are explored in an open and honest way. Judgemental opinion and views are set aside as understanding and tolerance are built into the story. This is a tragic case that is solved to give the parents closure and along the way relationships are brought into focus. This provides for an interesting drama that tackles bullying, family secrets, personal desire above conformity. All the characters are well presented, motives are unpicked and flaws highlighted. This isn’t so much the story of random evil and a cruel unpredictable world but a quest for independence and a means for reconciliation. You never feel in reading this book that it has been translated into English which demands a shout out for the work of Jozef van der Voort. I commend this author to you and feel in Death on the Beach that Anna Johannsen, has announced herself fully into the world of crime fiction.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shalini

    Quite a fun police procedural. My first book by this author, though secind in the series. I quite liked Detective Lena as she investigated a missing child even on a holiday. The author could keep my interest alive in the entire book. I was eager to know what had happened to the child. Lena was quite determined to get to the truth. A good read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    A young girl goes missing but why doesn't anyone seem to care? Something clearly is off center when Maria goes missing and her parents couldn't give a hoot less. What could cause her to leave? Was she depressed, suicidal, desperate for freedom? Or was she murdered? Those closest are interviewed and the clues start to show a pattern of denial and deceit. These devoutly religious islanders clearly are hiding something. Soon, Detective Lena learns the island and the islanders are hiding something deep, da A young girl goes missing but why doesn't anyone seem to care? Something clearly is off center when Maria goes missing and her parents couldn't give a hoot less. What could cause her to leave? Was she depressed, suicidal, desperate for freedom? Or was she murdered? Those closest are interviewed and the clues start to show a pattern of denial and deceit. These devoutly religious islanders clearly are hiding something. Soon, Detective Lena learns the island and the islanders are hiding something deep, dark, and disturbing! Could this be a 'cult' of sorts in play? What if everyone is permanently silenced? It turns out the reality of the situation is truly magnified by the classless, senseless, disgusting actions of one. Abuse is at the heart of the matter and it's truly an unspeakable act against an innocent person. Those in positions of authority must protect and defend our young not put them in harm's way. This was clearly well written, thorough, and precise with that investigative and procedural feel that encompassed readers minds and kept those like myself engaged from start to finish. Thank you to Anna, the pub, NetGalley, and Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Javier

    Second instalment in the "Island Mystery" series, "Death on the beach" is a good example of a pretty entertaining police procedural. Once again the story takes off almost from page one, diving straight into a missing person investigation that soon becomes a murder one. The investigation turns out to be pretty complicated because the dead girl's family belong to an evangelical cult and they don't seem too keen on helping the police. Besides DI Lorenzen is dealing with some personal issues, and th Second instalment in the "Island Mystery" series, "Death on the beach" is a good example of a pretty entertaining police procedural. Once again the story takes off almost from page one, diving straight into a missing person investigation that soon becomes a murder one. The investigation turns out to be pretty complicated because the dead girl's family belong to an evangelical cult and they don't seem too keen on helping the police. Besides DI Lorenzen is dealing with some personal issues, and that's my main problem with the story and the character. I understand she can have doubts about her relationship, but stop leading him on if you don't know what you want in life. Talk to him and stop ruminating about your love life! The other issue I had with this story was the ending. While not being completely out of the blue it felt a bit unsatisfying. It was an entertaining enough police procedural but I would have liked a bit more personal growth on the main character, but hopefully we'll see some of that on book 3. 3.5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gisela Hafezparast

    Not bad, but a bit predictable. Starting the third book in the series (received them for Christmas) and therefore shall give it one more chance.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mick Dubois

    This story takes place on The Wadden Islands in Northern Friesland (Germany) and is excellently translated from German. DI Lena Lorenzen works for the CID in Kiel and is about to start her holiday on Amrum (the island she was born and raised on) with her childhood love Erick, with whom she only recently reconnected when she receives a call from her DSU. On Fohr, the neighbouring island, a 14-year-old girl has disappeared and he wants her on the case. It’s a delicate matter as the family belongs t This story takes place on The Wadden Islands in Northern Friesland (Germany) and is excellently translated from German. DI Lena Lorenzen works for the CID in Kiel and is about to start her holiday on Amrum (the island she was born and raised on) with her childhood love Erick, with whom she only recently reconnected when she receives a call from her DSU. On Fohr, the neighbouring island, a 14-year-old girl has disappeared and he wants her on the case. It’s a delicate matter as the family belongs to a very strict Mennonite church and community. It’s the sister that left the island when she was 18 that reported the girl missing, not the parents. Those behave very hostile towards the authorities. Later, the girl is found with slit wrists on the beach but it’s clear that a third party is involved. This is a well-constructed but complex story. The characters are well developed and realistic. They have problems and doubts and don’t always agree on procedure or lines of investigation, but Lena steers a tight ship and has the last word on those things. Usually, she’s right, as well. She has her own personal problems on the islands though. There’s her father with whom she hasn’t spoken in years that wants her forgiveness. Her island boyfriend may want to move their relationship up to the next level, as long-distance relations are far from ideal, but Lena is not quite ready for this. On top of that, a former one-night-stand joins her team for the investigation and he also might want more. She can relate very well to the victim, being brought up on the secluded islands that can feel as a prison and without the religious content though. The problems brought on by such a strict religious community are better understood by DS Johann Grasmann who was raised in a similar strict catholic village. He connects a bit too well to the victim’s sister but is honest enough to admit this when Lena confronts him about it. He’s happy that he can work again with her and is a good, clever policeman and a skilled researcher. His hunches may not always be right but he usually knows when someone isn’t telling the whole truth. I didn’t know that there are still Mennonites living in Germany, but it shouldn’t surprise me as Switzerland and Germany are the place where they originated. I think that their community is fairly depicted. Showing both the positive sides of community sense and family values as well as the difficulties of growing up in those circumstances, the anti-society/authority sentiment, arranged marriages at too young ages, distrust of outsiders and all-over secrecy. All the elements are presented as they occur and you’re never certain if a person is only a witness or a suspect after all. The smells of sea and salt on the islands are mentioned on several occasions, as are the culinary delights but I miss the visual descriptions of both nature and village. But of course, it’s not a tourist guide or documentary. I certainly want to read more books from this writer and it’s a shame that they haven’t been translated into Dutch (to my knowledge) as the other half of the Wadden Sea belongs to The Netherlands. Not that they’re not good enough to merit a translation on quality alone. I thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for their free ARC; this is my honest and unbiased review of it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stina

    The second book in the Island Mystery series by German author Anna Johannsen, DEATH ON THE BEACH has been masterfully translated Jozef Van Der Voort so that the story and its prose flow seamlessly. You lose nothing in translation and it feels as if it has been written in the Queen's English. The prose is so atmospheric I felt as if I was on the North Freisland island myself. DI Lena Lorenzen has returned to her home island of Amrum for a much needed break to relax and enjoy some downtime with boy The second book in the Island Mystery series by German author Anna Johannsen, DEATH ON THE BEACH has been masterfully translated Jozef Van Der Voort so that the story and its prose flow seamlessly. You lose nothing in translation and it feels as if it has been written in the Queen's English. The prose is so atmospheric I felt as if I was on the North Freisland island myself. DI Lena Lorenzen has returned to her home island of Amrum for a much needed break to relax and enjoy some downtime with boyfriend Erck, with whom she had rekindled her relationship. Five whole days of rest and relaxation. But no sooner has she arrived and before she can put her feet up, she receives a call from her superior Detective Superintendent Warnke asking for a favour. A 14 year old girl, Maria Logener, has gone missing on the island of Fohr. Her parents belong to an extreme conservative free church known as the Bretheren which is locally considered a cult by most of the islanders. Due to her local knowledge of the islands, DSU Warnke entrusts Lena with the investigation knowing that she will deal with it sensitively and avoiding any negative publicity. As it is, their working relationship has improved since the previous case and Warnke allows Lena a wide scope of resources to be hers for the asking as and when she needs them. From the outset, Lena and her partner DS Johann Grasmann come up against unco-opertive parents who refuse to allow access to Maria's bedroom and deny any rebellion on their daughter's part. "Maria is a good girl" they claim. However Lena is no stranger to a parent's denial but the Logeners are different. As is their faith, the man is the head of the house with their wives and children deferring to their husband and/or father in every situation. And in accordance to their faith, Maria did not disobey her father and showed respect at all time. Unlike her older sister Johanna who turned her back on the Bretheren and her family to study pharmacology on the mainland. But what Lena finds interesting to note is that it was Johanna who raised the alarm and reported Maria missing...not her parents. And Lena wanted to know why. The first 48 hours are crucial and yet the Logeners have wasted precious time by not reporting her missing, refusing to believe Maria would leave the fold. But then Lena receives the call she had been dreading. Maria's body has been found on the beach. Her death an apparent suicide. But something is bothering Lena and she suspects foul play. When Lena breaks the news to her parents, it seems the island's grapevine is quicker than she had anticipated and Maria's father denies that his daughter would take her own life. Lena believes Frau Logener knows more than she's saying due to the Bretheren's conservative views on wives deferring to their husbands at all times. So she devises a ruse to speak to her in private. No mother would want to sit back in an investigation into her daughter's death. The case turns out to be a complex one with enquiries leading them in new directions and further questioning ensues. It appears that Maria Logener was not who everyone thought she was...but of course the investigation can't move forward without the victimology. Soon witnesses become persons of interest - teachers, friends, students - as the last days of Maria's life is slowly revealed. On a personal level, Lena battles with her committment to Erck whilst having to deal with a former one night stand joining the team from the mainland. Then there is her estranged father who desires to reconnect with his daughter though Lena refuses to have anything to do with him. Meanwhile, I sympathise with poor Erck who is loving and patient with Lena despite her sometimes casual treatment of him. He wants to commit to her but he won't push her and yet she seems to want to enjoy the benefits without the committment. Isn't that a guy's line? I didn't find Lena particularly likeable in this regard. Whilst it is a police procedural, I found the procedural story a little slow-moving. I couldn't care less about Ben's wanting to pick up with Lena where they left off after that one night. He doesn't seem to want to take no for an answer and yet at the same time, Lena is sending out mixed signals. The setting is atmospheric that I found myself googling these little known islands off the coast of Germany so I could see their beauty for myself. The locations are stunning and I felt as if I was truly there...on the beach beside Lena, puzzling out the mystery alongside her. However, I found the ending to be somewhat anti-climatic and wondering where the result came from. All that time spent on puzzling it out for something and nothing? It felt a little out of left field and disappointing. Despite this, DEATH ON THE BEACH is a nice quick read. I read it in an afternoon/evening. I'll be back for the third installment, hoping for something more decisive in the way of Lena's relationship...because I like Erck. A good quick read with a seamless translation from German. Perfect for those who enjoy Scandi-noir crime fiction. I would like to thank #AnnaJohannsen, #NetGalley and #AmazonUK for an ARC of #DeathOnTheBeach in exchange for an honest review. This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Very good reading My first introduction to author Anna Johannsen and I was immediately interested in reading more about the northern German islands setting for this series. Another interesting facet was the Mennonite factor which I would not have considered, but became the center of the story. A young woman is missing and found dead on the beach. Suicide or ?? It takes a very astute and able woman detective and her team to determine exactly what happened.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of Death on The Beach, the second novel to feature Inspector Lena Lorenzen of the Kiel Police. On holiday on the German island of Amrum Lena is sent to the neighbouring island of Föhr to help investigate the disappearance of a fourteen year old girl, Maria Logener. When Maria’s body is found on the beach with her wrist slashed Lena is not as sure as the others that it is suicide. I enjoyed Death on The Beach, which is an I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of Death on The Beach, the second novel to feature Inspector Lena Lorenzen of the Kiel Police. On holiday on the German island of Amrum Lena is sent to the neighbouring island of Föhr to help investigate the disappearance of a fourteen year old girl, Maria Logener. When Maria’s body is found on the beach with her wrist slashed Lena is not as sure as the others that it is suicide. I enjoyed Death on The Beach, which is an interesting police procedural with some unusual circumstances taking it out of the everyday. The island setting obviously limits the parameters of the investigation and the fact that Maria belongs to a strict evangelical order adds a certain twist to proceedings. Nevertheless the author handles it with aplomb. The novel is told from Lena’s point of view so the reader can dive right in, identify with her and not get distracted by other voices. This is my favourite kind of reading so it held my attention from start to finish. Lena’s investigation is very nebulous throughout, be it the lack of cooperation from her parents and their order or Maria’s missing tablet which means they have no digital footprint to follow or even Maria’s own secretiveness which meant she had no confidantes so she has to rely on piecing together small snippets of information until the big breakthrough at the end. Is it a bolt from the blue? Not quite, but it is a sudden turn. I imagine that it’s reflective of real police work but it does seem a touch contrived. This is not a high octane read but rather a painstaking examination of Maria’s life and last few weeks. I couldn’t help but feel heart sorry for her circumstances but at the same time I never felt that she came alive as a person. This too, I imagine, is reflective of real police work - too many people with different views of the same person. I like the novel as a police procedural as I enjoy the gradual triangulation of facts and theories into a cohesive case and I think the author does a good job of it. I’m not so keen on Lena Lorenzen whom I find rather dreary. There is no doubt that she is a smart, intuitive investigator with great people skills but her love life which she examines ad nauseum is a bore. Talk to him and thrash it out. Death on The Beach is a good read that I can recommend.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eva Winter

    Mildly entertaining A good way to whittle away some hours. The plot line is not particularly convincing, and it wasn't necessary to slander people of faith like this book does. Mildly entertaining A good way to whittle away some hours. The plot line is not particularly convincing, and it wasn't necessary to slander people of faith like this book does.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian

    4,5 star

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cindi

    I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. Thank you to the author, publisher and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book. Death on the Beach is book 2 in Anna Johannsen's Island Murder series. I hadn't read book 1 in the series, but feel that the story continues well enough that you can read this as a stand alone book. There were some references to a previous case and previous relationships, probably discussed in the first bo I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. Thank you to the author, publisher and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book. Death on the Beach is book 2 in Anna Johannsen's Island Murder series. I hadn't read book 1 in the series, but feel that the story continues well enough that you can read this as a stand alone book. There were some references to a previous case and previous relationships, probably discussed in the first book, but the book could stand alone. Lena Lorenzen is a detective in the German police and just starting her vacation time when called in to help search for a 14 year old missing girl, Maria, on the small island of Föhr. Lena experiences some resistance from the local police force, , but begins organizing searches and conducting interviews. The missing girl is a child of a family in the Brethren religious organization, similar to the Mennonites in the USA, and her father doesn't seem concerned that his daughter is missing. When a body is found on the beach, Maria's mother works behind her husband's back to talk to Lena and work with the police force. While the first impression is that of a suicide, Lena has a feeling there is more to the story, and won't stop until she's got the whole picture. I could tell this was part of a series; character descriptions and relationships just seem to be more defined and detailed in a series. That slowed me down a bit on this book. And this book is translated from German to English, but as with many books translated out of their native language, some of the word usages and phrasing is a bit awkward, and the story just doesn't flow for me as much. But overall, this was a good police procedural book, exploring a bit of different cultures, and it was good to see a book in Germany not set in Berlin! I haven't read others by this author, but I have put book in in this series, The Body on the Beach, on my to be read list.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I am really enjoying this series and look forward to more of these books becoming available in audio format.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Wood

    Detective Inspector Lena Lorenzen is having a few days off on her home island of Amrum with boyfriend, Erck when she is alerted to a missing fourteen year old girl. Requested to intervene by her boss Lena takes charge, calling in her partner DS Johannn Grasmann to assist. As the investigation begins the detectives are shocked by the lack of cooperation from anyone including the girl's parents and find themselves battling to get answers when time is obviously of the essence. I enjoyed this book v Detective Inspector Lena Lorenzen is having a few days off on her home island of Amrum with boyfriend, Erck when she is alerted to a missing fourteen year old girl. Requested to intervene by her boss Lena takes charge, calling in her partner DS Johannn Grasmann to assist. As the investigation begins the detectives are shocked by the lack of cooperation from anyone including the girl's parents and find themselves battling to get answers when time is obviously of the essence. I enjoyed this book very much for the most part, the two main characters were well written and interacted in a natural and believable manner. Neither was perfect but their foibles weren't debilitating and made them seem far more realistic. It wasn't a heart stopping, page turning rollercoaster of a read, instead it seemed in tune with the slower pace of island life. Things were worked at, clues were discovered, verified and they moved on to the next step. It made a nice change to be able to enjoy a slower paced novel without it descending into lethargy. I would give it a 3.5* rating if I could so have rounded it up as it's definitely more than a 3. The problem I had was with the breakthrough moment, it seemed contrived, almost as if the author had written themselves into a corner and needed to either re-write or use a less than ideal scenario to solve things. After all that had gone before it was a bit of a let down. I am hopeful of a third book in this series however, and will definitely be on the lookout for it and I am sure I will enjoy that too. I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone who read the first book or who enjoys European crime fiction. In both cases this is a good read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mick Dubois

    This story takes place on The Wadden Islands in Northern Friesland (Germany) and is excellently translated from German. DI Lena Lorenzen works for the CID in Kiel and is about to start her holiday on Amrum (the island she was born and raised on) with her childhood love Erick, with whom she only recently reconnected when she receives a call from her DSU. On Fohr, the neighbouring island, a 14-year-old girl has disappeared and he wants her on the case. It’s a delicate matter as the family belongs t This story takes place on The Wadden Islands in Northern Friesland (Germany) and is excellently translated from German. DI Lena Lorenzen works for the CID in Kiel and is about to start her holiday on Amrum (the island she was born and raised on) with her childhood love Erick, with whom she only recently reconnected when she receives a call from her DSU. On Fohr, the neighbouring island, a 14-year-old girl has disappeared and he wants her on the case. It’s a delicate matter as the family belongs to a very strict Mennonite church and community. It’s the sister that left the island when she was 18 that reported the girl missing, not the parents. Those behave very hostile towards the authorities. Later, the girl is found with slit wrists on the beach but it’s clear that a third party is involved. This is a well-constructed but complex story. The characters are well developed and realistic. They have problems and doubts and don’t always agree on procedure or lines of investigation, but Lena steers a tight ship and has the last word on those things. Usually, she’s right, as well. She has her own personal problems on the islands though. There’s her father with whom she hasn’t spoken in years that wants her forgiveness. Her island boyfriend may want to move their relationship up to the next level, as long-distance relations are far from ideal, but Lena is not quite ready for this. On top of that, a former one-night-stand joins her team for the investigation and he also might want more. She can relate very well to the victim, being brought up on the secluded islands that can feel as a prison and without the religious content though. The problems brought on by such a strict religious community are better understood by DS Johann Grasmann who was raised in a similar strict catholic village. He connects a bit too well to the victim’s sister but is honest enough to admit this when Lena confronts him about it. He’s happy that he can work again with her and is a good, clever policeman and a skilled researcher. His hunches may not always be right but he usually knows when someone isn’t telling the whole truth. I didn’t know that there are still Mennonites living in Germany, but it shouldn’t surprise me as Switzerland and Germany are the places where they originated. I think that their community is fairly depicted. Showing both the positive sides of community sense and family values as well as the difficulties of growing up in those circumstances, the anti-society/authority sentiment, arranged marriages at too young ages, distrust of outsiders and all-over secrecy. All the elements are presented as they occur and you’re never certain if a person is only a witness or a suspect after all. The smells of sea and salt on the islands are mentioned on several occasions, as are the culinary delights but I miss the visual descriptions of both nature and village. But of course, it’s not a tourist guide or documentary. I certainly want to read more books from this writer and it’s a shame that they haven’t been translated into Dutch (to my knowledge) as the other half of the Wadden Sea belongs to The Netherlands. Not that they’re not good enough to merit a translation on quality alone. I thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for their free ARC; this is my honest and unbiased review of it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Death on the Beach by Anna Johannsen is a murder mystery set on the German island of Föhr. Inspector Lena Lorenzen of the Kiel Police is sent to Föhr to investigate the case of a missing fourteen-year-old student, Maria Logener. She was soon found on the beach with her wrists and arms sliced where she had bled out. The local police accept the death as suicide, but Lena has suspicions there is more to the case. The investigation is met with little information due to the religious family and commu Death on the Beach by Anna Johannsen is a murder mystery set on the German island of Föhr. Inspector Lena Lorenzen of the Kiel Police is sent to Föhr to investigate the case of a missing fourteen-year-old student, Maria Logener. She was soon found on the beach with her wrists and arms sliced where she had bled out. The local police accept the death as suicide, but Lena has suspicions there is more to the case. The investigation is met with little information due to the religious family and community who are hesitant to open their doors for questioning. Also, Maria was bullied by some students at her school and she had very few friends. The book has interesting characters and Lena has a personal conflict with her boyfriend who wants a more permanent relationship. Ben, an investigator who helped Lena on a previous case arrives to help to determine if this is a suicide or murder. Lena had a brief relationship previously with Ben and now she feels as if her personal life has become more complicated. I thought she sent mixed signals to both men, Erck and Ben. Also, I felt the questioning of Lisa was weak. The prejudice against the religious community was very prevalent in the story. There was never any true indication of violence within the evangelical community and her parents did care according to the story, but the blurb says they didn't. Publication Date: May 15, 2020 Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Death on the Beach by Anna Johannsen is the second in the series of police procedurals, which take place in islands off the coast of Germany. The detective in charge is Lena Lorenzen who arrives as a consultant in the case of a missing girl and quickly becomes the head of a team searching for a murderer. It's a difficult investigation primarily because the girl's parents won't cooperate: they are members of a small, conservative church community who eschews cell phones and normal teenager things Death on the Beach by Anna Johannsen is the second in the series of police procedurals, which take place in islands off the coast of Germany. The detective in charge is Lena Lorenzen who arrives as a consultant in the case of a missing girl and quickly becomes the head of a team searching for a murderer. It's a difficult investigation primarily because the girl's parents won't cooperate: they are members of a small, conservative church community who eschews cell phones and normal teenager things. The girl, Maria, was fourteen years old and already her parents were on the verge of arranging a marriage for her. Her best friend, Lisa, has her own secrets, as does her drama teacher and friend. Other islanders are reluctant to talk and reveal the thinly disguised prejudice against these people, making it nearly impossible to make headway. Maria has an older sister who has escaped the community but her own life had kept her from her sister of late and so she could be of little assistance. Lena's own situation with her boyfriend, Erck, on another island close by, makes concentrating all the more difficult. This was an excellent novel, all the better because of the fine job of translating by Josef van der Voort. Too often translating ruins the book. It did not. Lena is a complex character, as are most people by their early thirties. She loves her career, despite it being a bit odd for a young woman. She misses her mother, who has been dead for years and she hates her father, with whom she has lost touch. She has recently rekindled a romance that had been dead since her teen years, but she is not sure that is what she wants, either. She loves the puzzle she has to figure out. He colleagues respect her and for the most part, cooperate with her. She has "friends" in to backup offices used by her department: forensics, the morgue, a computer expert, all of whom make her job doable. It was an excellent example of the genre. I enjoyed reading this book and hope to read more. I recommend it. I received a free copy of Death on the Beach from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions and interpretations contained herein are solely my own. #netgalley #deathonthebeach

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    DI Lena Lorenzen is on holiday with her boyfriend on the North Frisian island of Amrum when her boss calls. DS Warnke requests her help to look for a missing teenage girl. Maria Logener seems to have disappeared from a nearby island and Warnke’s wife is acquainted with her parents. The case is sensitive because the Logener family are members of a very conservative church which many consider to be a cult. Nobody on the small island of Föhr, especially Maria’s parents, are cooperative in the inves DI Lena Lorenzen is on holiday with her boyfriend on the North Frisian island of Amrum when her boss calls. DS Warnke requests her help to look for a missing teenage girl. Maria Logener seems to have disappeared from a nearby island and Warnke’s wife is acquainted with her parents. The case is sensitive because the Logener family are members of a very conservative church which many consider to be a cult. Nobody on the small island of Föhr, especially Maria’s parents, are cooperative in the investigation and Lena runs into one obstacle after another. However, she sees herself in the fourteen-year-old and won’t give up until she gets to the truth about what really happened to Maria. This book is the second in a series, but I didn’t read the first one. I feel I missed out on some of Lena’s background, but was still able to enjoy the book. Lena is a complicated character. She is a caring and excellent detective, but sometimes makes questionable choices in her personal life. I don’t always like Lena, but I do respect her intelligence and her strength. I wasn’t familiar with the setting of the book, the Northern Frisian Islands, but I enjoyed learning about this area of the world. The mystery of what happened to Maria is suspenseful and the procedural elements of the book are very well done. Even when I didn’t understand some of the things Lena did in her personal life, I loved the way she handled the investigation and all the complications which arose. The investigation goes in circles for a little bit since so many of the local residents didn’t want to tell the police the truth. When everything finally comes out, it was a bit of a letdown considering the build-up throughout the book. However, I enjoyed the characters and the unique setting, and I would love to read additional books in this series. I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Thomas and Mercer. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mindo'ermatter

    Great Escape Read---Fast-paced Murder Thriller! Strong follow-up detective story to Book 1, but as a new murder mystery, it can also be read as a standalone novel. The fast-paced storyline follows Detective Inspector Lena Lorenzen from CID in Kiel, Germany, as she leverages her no nonsense and tough-minded investigative skills to this intense drama to find the murderer of a fourteen-year-old girl on an isolated German island. Lena is a complex character to understand, one of the reasons she so i Great Escape Read---Fast-paced Murder Thriller! Strong follow-up detective story to Book 1, but as a new murder mystery, it can also be read as a standalone novel. The fast-paced storyline follows Detective Inspector Lena Lorenzen from CID in Kiel, Germany, as she leverages her no nonsense and tough-minded investigative skills to this intense drama to find the murderer of a fourteen-year-old girl on an isolated German island. Lena is a complex character to understand, one of the reasons she so indomitable with her work and challenged with her personal life. A focused police professional every step of the way, Lena pushes her boundaries to the limit to get answers. She suspects everyone, trusts few, but has strong sensitivities to the feelings and motives of other. The author's focused and chronologically paced storytelling creates a suspenseful police procedural plotline with too many suspects, patchy evidence, and a rushed timeline to satisfy her boss. This book is hard to put down but short enough to make the fast reading journey a great "escape read" with no strings attached. The crisp dialogue and tight narrative sticks to the murder plotline with only some backstory elements that support the major storyline. The characters are well developed as the plot thickens and too many questions keep arising. Liked the first book, but enjoyed this one even more. I appreciated the author's spare use of foul language and tastefully brief accounts of intimate situations and sexual crimes. Hats off to the expert translation that included enough general Germany terms to identify the local, while creating a strong seamless English storyline. Kudos too for Audible's engaging story narration that adds so much to my reading experience. I hope this series has more installments with this strong and believable female character.

  27. 4 out of 5

    sloane_reads

    Review Death on the Beach by Anna Johannsen Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫 I’m a bit of an armchair sleuth. I love a good mystery or police procedural show. Much to my husband’s dismay, I often holler out who I am certain the culprit is when we are only 20% of the way through the program. If you’re a fellow Nancy Drew, this book was a fun read. It follows the murder of Maria, a young girl from a deeply religious family. Detective Lina investigates the days and weeks before Maria’s death, but is faced with a lot of Review Death on the Beach by Anna Johannsen Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫 I’m a bit of an armchair sleuth. I love a good mystery or police procedural show. Much to my husband’s dismay, I often holler out who I am certain the culprit is when we are only 20% of the way through the program. If you’re a fellow Nancy Drew, this book was a fun read. It follows the murder of Maria, a young girl from a deeply religious family. Detective Lina investigates the days and weeks before Maria’s death, but is faced with a lot of stonewalling from Maria’s community. They are used to judgment and aren’t particularly receptive to outsiders. As Detective Lina is making her rounds through the community, I felt for both her and the community at large. People often judge that which is different from what they know, and I hurt for the community that they felt scrutinized by virtue of their faith. As any fellow detective (that’s me, not Lina) knows, the first 48 hours are critical. I stayed up until 11 PM last night (this is huge), trying to track down the killer. My palms were sweating, my pulse was racing and I’m sure my face was flushed (could also be related to the wine). The reason, I didn’t make this a 4 🌟, is simply that I felt the end was rushed. The body of the book was excellent but I felt like when it came to exposing the killer, the author was ready to hang up her hat. I needed a bit more at the end. That taaaa-daaaa moment you remember about the book weeks later. Either way, I will definitely give this author another read. It seems this is a series and this particular novel was published today!!! Thank you to #netgalley and #amazinpublishingUK for early access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steven Toby

    This was a different, interesting read and seemed almost like the British product, including the job titles of the police characters. The translator, a Brit, avoids using British slang like "the nick" for the police station, correctly since we're supposed to be off the coast of Germany so we need to imagine this dialogue all in German. The translator is either very good at his job or the author's text was particularly suitable to convert to normal English usage. For local color the island enviro This was a different, interesting read and seemed almost like the British product, including the job titles of the police characters. The translator, a Brit, avoids using British slang like "the nick" for the police station, correctly since we're supposed to be off the coast of Germany so we need to imagine this dialogue all in German. The translator is either very good at his job or the author's text was particularly suitable to convert to normal English usage. For local color the island environment and the common pressure for people to leave in order to serve their careers, or stay and be sidelined in a backwater, is a situation that's of universal applicability and appeal. Certainly, a resort in Germany must be very much like one of the barrier islands off New Jersey or North Carolina, so it's easy to visualize the environment. There's another oddly familiar aspect to it: it's very close in location to the area where Carruthers and Davies (maybe Davis?) have their great adventure in "Riddle of the Sands" a century earlier. I was quite disappointed not to recognize any place names and I'm not sure why -- how big can the Frisian Islands be? Anyway, the plot is a classic mystery: a woman is found on the beach, dead from loss of blood from her wrist. At first it seems it's suicide but the postmortem concludes it was murder. The teenage victim was from a religious family -- some characters call it a cult so it resembles some of the minority religions we have in the US. I found that surprising but I have only been in Germany once to change planes so what I don't know about its culture is a lot. She was being urged to submit to an arranged marriage and she didn't want to, but it's hard to imagine why that's a motive for murder. The detective who eventually solves the case is a native of the island who went to school with a lot of the suspects, a thing I can relate to, coming from a small town myself. The book is well done but I'm sure there are elements of local color that don't come through in translation.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZYMRFMR/... Sometimes, I fail to realize that a book is part of a series when I initially request it. Unfortunately for me, this was the second in this series. I wasn't totally lost, but I think that I definitely could have benefited from reading the prior book, unless that is the American in me. We begin this book with Lena catching a ferry to end up in Amrum to spe I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZYMRFMR/... Sometimes, I fail to realize that a book is part of a series when I initially request it. Unfortunately for me, this was the second in this series. I wasn't totally lost, but I think that I definitely could have benefited from reading the prior book, unless that is the American in me. We begin this book with Lena catching a ferry to end up in Amrum to spend six whole days with Erck. Sleeping, going for walks, cooking and talking. After fourteen years, they have rekindled their relationship over the past eight weeks. She has barely arrived at her destination and receives a work call and we learn that she is a Detective Inspector. Her boss informs her that there is a 14- year old girl that went missing on Fohr. Lena is quickly enlisted to run the search the next day, as the current officers searched and did not find her. Fohr is only an hour from where she is, so why not help out? It quickly is revealed that the girl's parents belong to a free church, a deeply devout free church. We are then on the adventure of finding what exactly happened to Marie Logener when her sister reported her missing. That alone is something- not her mother, but her sister called it in!! Lena, as a woman who was once a teen manages to uncover some of Marie’s secrets that her mother never even could imagine. So much drama in this book! As a mother of a daughter, I cannot even imagine how awful all of this could be to someone. It was definitely a mystery as to what occurred.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZYMRFMR/... Sometimes, I fail to realize that a book is part of a series when I initially request it. Unfortunately for me, this was the second in this series. I wasn't totally lost, but I think that I definitely could have benefited from reading the prior book, unless that is the American in me. We begin this book with Lena catching a ferry to end up in Amrum to spe I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZYMRFMR/... Sometimes, I fail to realize that a book is part of a series when I initially request it. Unfortunately for me, this was the second in this series. I wasn't totally lost, but I think that I definitely could have benefited from reading the prior book, unless that is the American in me. We begin this book with Lena catching a ferry to end up in Amrum to spend six whole days with Erck. Sleeping, going for walks, cooking and talking. After fourteen years, they have rekindled their relationship over the past eight weeks. She has barely arrived at her destination and receives a work call and we learn that she is a Detective Inspector. Her boss informs her that there is a 14- year old girl that went missing on Fohr. Lena is quickly enlisted to run the search the next day, as the current officers searched and did not find her. Fohr is only an hour from where she is, so why not help out? It quickly is revealed that the girl's parents belong to a free church, a deeply devout free church. We are then on the adventure of finding what exactly happened to Marie Logener when her sister reported her missing. That alone is something- not her mother, but her sister called it in!! Lena, as a woman who was once a teen manages to uncover some of Marie’s secrets that her mother never even could imagine. So much drama in this book! As a mother of a daughter, I cannot even imagine how awful all of this could be to someone. It was definitely a mystery as to what occurred.

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