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February 26, 2014


This is Jenny Mayhew’s first novel.


In a small German village, between the wars, a baby girl has gone missing from the home of the village doctor. Local police constable Theodore Hilderbrandt arrives to investigate the mystery, only to find a household that is weary of talking to outsiders. When Ute, the doctor’s young wife, takes him into her confidence, Theo is drawn into a world of whispered secrets and unexpected lusts.

Theo’s fascination with the case – and his new confidante – brings unwanted attention from his superiors. Progress is coming to their quite corner of Germany, and the officials are determined that nothing should get in its way. These are unsettled times for a country still struggling with the consequences of defeat, and for a community now feverish with suspicion.

When the baby is found dead, a witch hunts begins for the young man people are keen to believe is responsible for her murder. Villagers suspect his mother of being a witch, claim he murdered his step-father, and think that he is a wolf – what they do not say is that he is a jew. The constable is determined that justice should be done and the lies, lore and prejudices of an insular community should not be allowed to prosper. Wrestling with the ghosts of his own past and his sense of duty. Theo is unprepared for what his investigation will unleash.

My review.

Jenny Mayhew brilliantly captures the folklore and superstition that can be become so dangerous in a small community at a time of crisis. A Wolf in Hindelheim is wonderfully atmospheric and full of tension – familiar, sexual and political. It is also a poignant and unusual love story.

Published by Windmill Books



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