anne, paul and the catholic church in cologne

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When I came back from jogging the next morning, a postman was already waiting for me. After I had signed an official form, he handed me an express letter, which I left on my coffee table. I showered and went into the kitchen, wrapped in my bathrobe, to turn on my coffee machine. …
I left the envelope unopened on the table the whole time. …
Only when I could no longer stand the impatience did I tear open the envelope. It was a notification from the responsible regulatory authority. My gun licence was suspended with immediate effect. I was allowed to carry my gun again.
I took the key from the sideboard, went to my safe and opened the steel door. Inside came only a small pile of papers, some photos and my nine-millimetre. Together with its holster, I took it out and felt the rubber grip and the familiar weight in my hand. …
I sat down to my breakfast. My coffee tasted much better than before. The bread was downright delicious.
Slowly it felt like I was getting my old life back.

from: Wo die toten Kinder leben

The Spiritual Abyss of Human Nature

Anne tells … about her cases and about her private life. Whenever and however – Paul, a Catholic priest, is always involved. As the series progresses, you wonder what is more exciting: the current case or their relationship or non-relationship. Without wanting to reveal anything … at the moment everything is still open between the two.

In contrast, every case the two encounter over the course of time is solved – and it’s always high drama: action, deaths, assaults, injuries … everything.

It all started when Anne was fired. Her career as a detective at the homicide squad ended abruptly when she drastically overstepped her boundaries in a kidnapping case. Her efforts were in vain; the kidnap victim was found, but it was too late.

Anne tries to recapture her life as a private detective after that. Business doesn’t seem to be going so well. Her husband filed for divorce and got custody of their daughter. Against the background of her misconduct with the police, that wasn’t so difficult. Her right of access to her daughter has been minimised.

Anne suffers.

Then, out of the blue, the Catholic Church contacts her and wants to hire her for an investigation. The Catholic Church is represented by a special administrative unit that has a rather powerful boss. (Through his connections, Anne practically gets her gun licence back immediately – and later she is supported when it comes to the question of custody of her daughter again). To actively support her in her daily work, she is assisted by a young, handsome, aspiring priest, Paul.

So the two of them embark on joint investigative adventures.

In addition to Paul, there is also a financially strong foundation in the background whose goal is to uncover criminal activities related to the Catholic Church and to protect the church. This institution is essentially represented by Paul’s foster fathers, a homosexual couple who have cared intensively for Paul since he was a child.

Anne still has good contacts with the police, her former colleagues in the homicide squad. One colleague in particular is always happy to support Anne and Paul with whatever information is available – even if he often doesn’t like the way the two of them interfere in a current case.

After these long explanations, the investigators’ environment should be clear. Geographically, the cases are set in Cologne and the surrounding area, a stronghold of the Catholic Church. Involved in the cases are established families (mostly), members of the church (sometimes) … they are all criminals, though not professional criminals, although these also play a role from time to time. Basically, the church always has an interest in each case and does everything to solve the cases, bring justice and save face.

All cases are cruel. The killers are brutal and devious. They are about revenge for events that happened in the past. They are about suicides that are actually murders. It’s about sexually deviant people. It’s about scams that escalate and result in murders. It’s about kidnappings … and much more. There is one death, more than one death – and there are many victims. There are many children who become victims. Behind every case there is a human tragedy.

It remains exciting in every case – if only on the level of interpersonal relationship.

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare