Literary Saloon
Site of Review.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.

the Best
the Rest
Review Index




to e-mail us:

support the site

In Association with Amazon.com

In association with Amazon.com - UK

In association with Amazon.ca - Canada



the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Komm, süßer Tod

Wolf Haas

general information | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Komm, süßer Tod

Title: Komm, süßer Tod
Author: Wolf Haas
Genre: Mystery
Written: 1998
Length: 230 pages
Original in: German
Availability: Komm, süßer Tod - Deutschland
Vienne la mort - France
  • Komm, süßer Tod is the third in the P.I.-Brenner series
  • Komm, süßer Tod has not yet been translated into English
  • Komm, süßer Tod was made into a film in 2004, directed by Wolfgang Murnberger and starring Josef Hader as Simon Brenner

- Return to top of the page -

Our Assessment:

B : entertaining writing

See our review for fuller assessment.

The complete review's Review:

       In Komm, süßer Tod ('Come, sweet death') former policeman Simon Brenner has also given up being a private investigator and instead taken up a job as an ambulance driver for one of the two large ambulance-services in Vienna. The job comes with a subsidized apartment on the premises, which is a nice perk, but, of course, Brenner soon finds out that this small society with its own rules and peculiarities isn't necessarily an ideal work- or living place. And his detective-background comes up, of course, and he has to try his hand at investigating once again.
       As usual, Haas begins with the promise of worse to come: the second sentence of the book is: "Aber ein Tag, der so anfängt, kann ja nur noch schlechter werden" ('But a day that begins like that can only get worse'). The promise is kept. The ambulance service has a problem: their stiffest competition is beating them to the pick-up points -- lost business that threatens their very business. Someone from the other side is obviously listening in on their radio-calls, and they want Brenner to look into it. Needless to say, soon enough there is also a murder victim -- from their own ranks -- and given the unusual circumstances, Brenner has to look into that as well.
       Things turn considerably darker as he digs deeper, as it turns out that some in the ambulance-service -- which turns out to be a close-to-literally cut-throat business -- have some secrets they are very eager to keep hidden, for good reason. It's a book filled with all sorts of ambulance-chasing, as Brenner goes racing around Vienna in a desperate attempt to fit it all together, before it all falls apart.
       Here he was, thinking he'd finally taken up a worthy profession ("einen ordentlichen Beruf" ), and he finds it's just as rotten to the core as any other. The mystery is fairly entertaining, but Haas also has good fun in dwelling on the ambulance-chasing ways, from the red-light-running (actually not legal, even for an ambulance, but a prohibition the drivers see more as a challenge than to be obeyed) to the relatively boring runs that make up most of their business -- carting patients to get treatment somewhere, without any sense or need for urgency.
       Most of the fun, however, is again in the telling, a laconic style with those turns of phrase typical of Austrian speech which Haas handles masterfully. It's also nice to see Brenner in the big city for once, the Viennese scenes different from the provincial ones where most of his cases take him. And, as Haas notes: "Der Tod is vielleicht groß. Aber Wien ist auch groß." ('Death might be big. But Vienna is also big.').
       Needless to say, by the end Brenner has worn out his welcome (and lost his apartment); but at least that means he can return to working full-time as a private investigator. After some well-earned (and rewarded) R&R.

- Return to top of the page -


Komm, süßer Tod: Reviews: Komm, süßer Tod - the film: Wolf Haas: Other books by Wolf Haas under review: Other books of interest under review:

- Return to top of the page -

About the Author:

       Austrian author Wolf Haas was born in 1960, and is best known for his series of Brenner-mysteries.

- Return to top of the page -

© 2008-2010 the complete review

Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links