Top critical review
A big disappointment
Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2015
I tried to like this book. I really did. I am a history buff, and had spent a good portion of my military service in Bavaria. I knew enough about King Ludwig II to be intrigued by a book that, on the surface, sought to create a plausible explanation for the inexplicable facts surrounding Ludwig's decline, the insurrection of his ministers, the intervention of Bismark, and his death. I failed to make any progress with the book until I finally realized that it wasn't grabbing me because it was ridiculous.
I had read some of Pötzsch's other work and it was better than this. I bit on a hustle from Amazon that it fitted my preferred genre of recreational reading, historical thrillers. Aside from some contrived meetups with some thugs and an equally contrived, and dragged out hint at romance, this book felt cobbled together. If Pötzsch has simply stuck to the Ludwig II story, without the flash forward toi the present and flash back to the King's era, excused by the insertion of a Maguffin memoir by a purported witness to the events of Ludwig's last days, it might have been better. Further, the dialogue, particularly between the the principles, which read like an old B movie tough girl in a jam with a clueless guy, just got old.
I will go back to Philip Kerr and Bernie Gunther if I want gaudy patter. Between a historical "detective" and a bookstore owner, just too much of a stretch for me.
I simply could not bring myself to finish the book and put it away about halfway through.