liv lammers, a detective on sylt

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(no English version of the novels so far!)

Liv’s mind raced. A woman’s body on Sylt. The call from her nephew. His missing girlfriend. Was it about this Milena? Had she been in danger, in mortal danger? And: Could Liv have saved her? Had to save her? She had become a policewoman to help people – but she had not taken her own nephew’s concern seriously. …
Liv not only felt as if she had betrayed her ideals, but was also plagued by a terribly guilty conscience towards her nephew. But maybe it wasn’t too late? Maybe the dead woman was not Jan’s girlfriend and she could still help him … Damn it! She didn’t want to go to Sylt, she never wanted to set foot on the island again, she had sworn to herself!
The police on Sylt had to cope with tremendous pressure, that was common knowledge. Not that the island was a crime stronghold, on the contrary: for the fact that so much money and so many people came together on Sylt, it was surprisingly quiet. However, the celebrities wanted their privacy secured. The entrepreneurs wanted to go about their business undisturbed. In addition, there was the interest of the public: every fender bender on Sylt called the nationwide press into action and therefore had to be flawlessly investigated by the police. What was only worth a short note to a small newspaper like the
Schlei-Boten, was provided by Sylter Rundschau with a front page story and was reprinted as far away as in Bavaria. Liv hated this mixture of pomposity and media lust.

from: Schwarze Brandung
(own translation)

The Island of her Family

At twenty-nine, Liv Lammers is one of the youngest detectives in Flensburg’s homicide department, which is not necessarily an advantage, because many male colleagues consider her far too young to be involved in such an important department. She often feels this, but the head of the police station is behind her and Liv is ambitious, she pushes through. She always has.

She gave birth to a child, a girl, when she was just sixteen. Her family wanted to force her to have an abortion, but Liv resisted and the next moment found herself on the street: her family had thrown her out without further ado. The Lammers family is not just any family, they belong to the Sylt establishment and are leaders in the real estate business, a rich family. But Liv was only the youngest daughter, an insignificant daughter. Her grandmother, in turn, didn’t think so and took her granddaughter in, which also meant breaking with the family for her.

Liv continued to go to school, took care of her baby, and later trained as a police officer. At twenty-nine, she lives with her grandmother and her daughter, now fourteen, in an old captain’s house in Flensburg. She loves her work, relieves her stress by playing the drums and tries to raise her daughter, which is not easy with a lively teenager.

A storybook CV of everyone who started out disadvantaged?

I was already impressed by this CV and immediately wondered how the looming confrontation with the Lammers family on Sylt would turn out. Even though Liv has sworn never to return to Sylt, she has no choice in this murder case.

… and as far as the happy life on Sylt is concerned, i.e. hardly any crime, she soon learns otherwise and experiences first-hand how harshly and brutally people can react when they have committed a crime but try to get away with it. Without prejudging anything: her family is in the middle of it. Always.

The woman’s body from the first volume of the series very quickly leads to a network of human trafficking and illegally employed foreigners. Narcotics smuggling is also involved. The following novels deal with child abuse, drug adulteration, kidnapping and blackmail. Liz and her colleagues soon realise that under the beautiful façade of Sylt more evil is happening and more evil is lurking than suspected.

Liz is in the middle of it, not only because her family is in the middle of it too. The Lammes family and their real estate deals are not always entirely clean. The patriarch, Liv’s father, literally walks over dead bodies to pull off his deals and protect his rich friends. He is supported by Liv’s sister, who is no less unscrupulous. Liv has a hard time, although at the end of the day her family is largely spared punitive measures.

The family … Liv’s daughter, who until now knew nothing of her Sylt family, is disappointed in her mother, who has kept the family from her, and at the same time fascinated by her aunt’s glamour and lifestyle. This naturally causes unrest in Liv’s small captain’s house. Things get dangerous when her daughter sets off for Sylt – also to find out who her father actually is. Here we are again in the swamp of crime, because Liv’s former crush and lover is up to his neck in illegal activities. Liv also has a hard time on the family front and has to vent over her drums more than once.

Even in the police force, the sun is not always shining. It soon becomes clear that there must be an informer at the Sylt police who is passing on investigation results. Liv, of course, is secretly in the crosshairs because her influential family lives on Sylt. But it takes quite a while before the real mole is unmasked.

In these novels, the island of Sylt with its social and societal structure always plays a central role. Inspector Liv Lammers is not only drawn into the cases through her family connections, but also into the entire social setting of Sylt. Rarely does one experience a series in which professional and private tasks and conflicts lie and merge so closely together. And on top of that, there is always action … lots of action …

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