mendt and elling – walking on the edge

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Sometimes she read the same surprise in his face that she felt when there was this silent agreement between them. An enigmatic consonance that they both didn’t quite trust.
Because there was almost nothing else they agreed on. Frank Elling lived with his daughter and wife in his house in Rostock-Brinckmannsdorf. They were tightly woven into a network of colleagues, neighbours and friends with whom he watched football on the big TV in the living room or had a barbecue on the terrace. In the neighbourhood, they helped each other out with a few eggs or tinned tomatoes, just what was missing on Sunday when the supermarkets were closed. And in winter, they also helped shovel the neighbour’s driveway.
Not making a fuss together.
That was life in Ringelrankenweg.
Lona Mendt, on the other hand, never stayed in one place for long. At the moment, the motorhome she lived in was parked at the campsite in Markgrafenheide, less than three hundred metres from the Baltic Sea and five kilometres from Rostock-Toitenwinkel. With each month of use, she had adapted it more and more to her needs. For example, the Bonneville fitted into the back of the boot. Sawed, drilled, laid pipes, adjusted valves. …
Nothing lasted long. She had only been transferred from Hanover to Rostock 15 months ago at her own request. In the Rostock criminal investigation department, she was considered exotic because of her living conditions.

from: Die Toten von Marnow
(own translation)

Under Pressure

With Mendt and Elling, two detectives enter the stage who are anything but … yes what … On the one hand, they both endeavour to solve crimes, especially murders, and do not shy away from taking on anyone who crosses them – not even if they are superiors or politicians or – generally speaking – influential personalities. On the other hand, they are not squeamish when it comes to taking law and order into their own hands. What’s more, the boundary towards the land of crime seems to be quite flexible for them.

In short, they are two unusual detectives for the German scene.

Mendt always seems to be on the run – from her own past. It later transpires that she lost her husband and children in a tragic accident – a deep cut in her life that she has not come to terms with. Her answers include leaving Hanover, her role as a motorbike driver, the motorhome … and snacking on young colleagues. In the first case of the series, she herself is brutally attacked and she takes revenge, she grabs a gun and pulls the trigger. In the end, she actively allows a victim resp. perpetrator to take revenge on a mastermind who has always stayed in the background …

Elling has completely different worries. His private life is sacred to him and he does everything he can to satisfy his wife and daughter and fulfil all their wishes. But it doesn’t quite work out the way he wants it to. After all, he is only a detective inspector with a limited income. His projects, such as his own home, the swimming pool, the additional counter-current system for the pool, the car for his daughter – he can’t legally finance them. But he can’t cut back or limit himself either, because he loves his daughter and his wife too much. So he is susceptible to bribery – and he pockets everything that comes his way. Especially as he also has a mother whose senile dementia is progressing and who needs a good nursing home. When, despite all his efforts, he discovers that his wife is cheating on him, he strikes back and ruins her lover’s life in a not exactly legal way – quick and dirty.

It should be clear by now that the two heroes of the series have dirt on them, that they are walking on damn thin ice, especially in the first case of the series, in which events come thick and fast, not only in the private sphere but also professionally.

There are deaths. People are brutally murdered. Mendt and Elling poke around in the pools of blood and search for a motive that only slowly becomes apparent. It’s about events in the GDR in which companies from the FRG were not innocent. That may have happened decades ago, but there are still victims who have survived, relatives of victims who are still grieving. In the midst of it all, there are rope teams from the GDR era that survived reunification and whose members are now in new, influential positions. The case is complicated, but Mendt and Elling finally manage to clear everything up completely.

In the end … Mendt and Elling get away scot-free. Mendt has saved herself and managed to conceal her revenge with the help of Elling. Elling uses the bribe money to rehabilitate himself, even if his marriage ends in divorce. In the end, they both sit in Elling’s garden and enjoy the evening.

What happens next? The next case is coming and it looks set to be just as complex and brutal as before.

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