I acquired Gabi Kreslehner's Rain Girl on my Kindle via Amazon's Kindle First program, and found it to be a satisfying, moody reading experience. A beautiful young woman is assaulted and left for dead on the high-speed Autobahn (the novel, recently translated into English, is set in Austria), where she eventually awakens, wanders into traffic, and is fatally hit by a car.
Detectives Franza and Felix are assigned the case and try to piece together the final hours of the woman's life: Why was she dressed so beautifully? Who assaulted her and left her by the side of the highway? What strange scene played out at a nearby rest stop prior to the woman's roadside abandonment?
Adding texture and nuance are the detectives' own daily problems: Franza is having an affair behind the back of her dentist husband Max, and Felix is experiencing stress because he and his wife are expecting twins, which will shortly give them a total of four kids to care for. Franza and her husband are also estranged from their grown son Ben, which bothers Franza a lot, though her husband thinks the son is just going through a phase. Adding more stress to everything is the eventual revelation that Franza and Max's son had a connection to the dead woman.
The book moves along nicely, yet also manages to take its time and deliver some nice imagery and thoughtful literary asides, resulting in a story that works as both a thriller and a graceful straight-up novel. Author Gabi Kreslehner and translator Lee Chadeayne both deserve recognition and kudos for a fine, engaging book.