First I read this thriller in the original language English, before I turned to the translated version in German, to compare each other. Of course, the original is unbeaten.
Mark Novak's wife was shot dead by an unknown perpetrator two years before the action of this book begins.
He is eaten away by grief and anger and traumatized. He works for the OII. Organization Innocence Incorporated. They stand up for innocent people sentenced to death.
After he got into trouble, including with the board of directors, his colleague and oldest friend lawyer Jeff London makes sure that he gets out of the minefield.
He is supposed to go to Garrison, Indiana. Already ten years ago, seventeen-year-old Sarah Martin was lost in the branching cave Trapdoor Caverns, only found and brought back days after her disappearance by the loner, cave explorer Ridley Barnes, albeit dead.
Ridley is mistaken for her killer. He makes contradicting statements. Although there is no evidence, he will not be convicted, but has now a brand anyway.
Mark, who arrives in the middle of the freezing cold at the end of January, is bored, uninterested, and already thinks that he will soon be out of work.
But what initially seemed like a monotonous routine soon turns out to be a highly dangerous hornet's nest and Mark may have to go into the cave system himself if he wants to find the abysmal truth behind this incident ...
As usual with Michael Koryta, he again manages to arouse very complex moods with just a few sketched words, which interact directly with the excellently designed setting.
Psychologically very finely drawn and polished. Captivating, with a few unpredictable twists, he knows how to trigger anxiety and expectations.
And the latter were not disappointed. The protagonists have depth and diversity. I like Mark a lot. Just because of the cave system, the book is probably not for claustrophobics. When reading, your breath can truly freeze!