The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

Written by Helen Grant

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Shortlisted for the CLIP Carnegie Medai 2010.

This debut novel is a great page-turner with an endearing story that's full of rich detail and beautifully written. It has a terrific sense of place. Although the narrator is only 10 years old, the content of this book is definitely going to appeal to teenagers and adults. With a wonderful lightness of touch, the author intertwines the feelings of adults as children keep disappearing in a compelling and heart-felt way.

Shortlisted for the prestigious Teenage Book of the Year Award 2009.


The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant

CILIP CARNEGIE Medal SHORTLIST 2010: Judges’ comments

An accomplished, darkly comic debut novel which grips the reader as it builds its macabre layers to a horrifying conclusion. Its German setting, and Pia’s family are extremely well captured as are the dark undercurrents in small-town society.

On the day Katharina Linden disappears, Pia is the last person to see her alive. Terror is spreading through the town. How could a girl vanish in a place where everybody knows everybody else? Pia is determined to find out what happened to Katharina. But then the next girl disappears.


Both a wonderful first novel, and a strange, haunting modern fairytale, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden is that rare beast: a book that reawakens in adults the childhood terror of the bogeyman, and confirms for children that the world is an infinitely stranger place than adults might like to pretend . . . John Connolly, New York Times author of The Reapers

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden is a stunning debut with a richly evoked setting, a smart sympathetic heroine, and the best opening line for a novel I've ever read. Helen Grant conjures a tale of evil in rural Germany that would make the Brothers Grimm jealous!

Dark and deadly as the original Grimm's German folktales, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden hides its menace behind the exquisitely charming narrator, Pia, an unforgettable child of the first order. Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child and Angels of Destruction

About the Author

Helen Grant was born in London. She read Classics at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and then worked in marketing for ten years in order to fund her love of travelling. In 2001 she and her family moved to Bad Münstereifel in Germany, and it was exploring the legends of this beautiful town that inspired her to write her first novel. She now lives in Brussels with her husband, her two children and a small German cat.

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Book Info


352 pages
Interest Age: From 13


Helen Grant
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Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

2nd April 2009




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