Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),
Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!
First Impression: So...for a book with so many murders mentioned, we finally get to see some genuine action and an actual murder taking place...which makes for a pretty fun scene here...well...not fun for the people involved, but you know, quite fun to read...its always powerful scenes like this that make you want to find out more about what happens. Every book needs a bit of incentive like this for a reader to want to reach that ending to see justice served. Unlike the 50 year old murders earlier, this one feels a lot more real and we want to see why this happened and if the person responsible gets punished for it.
Anyway let's get right to it,
There were many lakes in this former country. Some were so deep, nobody knew how deep; others were so large, one couldn't see the shore on the other side; and some were only a product of humans themselves.One of these innumerable lakes was called Emerald Lake.
Since rarely much became public, it must have been obvious that the children were not brought here voluntarily. Whether it was true or not is not known. In two aspects they were all similar; they were full orphans and all their parents worked for the same company. The vast majority did not even know their parents. The Viktoria Luise Orphanage was like the Eternal Realm, home of the Goddess, to them. There was rarely any crying in these halls.
That was...a massive chunk of description right there, it just seemed to all be focused on introducing this one single place that we so far haven't seen before at all, so one hand, I have to say you paint an awesomely vivid picture there that you can just see in your mind ever so clearly....but...uhh..also seems a little out of the blue. Last chapter ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, with mysterious dealings, murders and all sorts of crazy things going down but now....this just is like "We interrupt this murder mystery to bring you an advertisement for this peaceful orphanage"...so plotwise I'm very lost. I genuinely double checked to make sure that I hadn't accidentally stumbled onto the wrong chapter part.
With the last rays of sunshine on the olive tree, it was time for the playmates to get into bed. The strict rules of the overseers were followed by everyone.
One of them was Lukas Kunz, who was about to celebrate his eleventh birthday. He could hardly wait to eat the apple cake he wished for.
At midnight, the first clouds floated over them. The orphanage got a visit from the rain. The children lay in their beds while the educators did the last errands in the kitchen. Old Mr Pest had made a shopping list for tomorrow. Steiner was calmly humming a happy tune.
With a last drop, they were about to retire to their chambers when suddenly Lukas stood at the doorstep.
And now we've got a scene also from a totally different spot....soo uhh, well I do know you like jumping around with the characters pretty often, but usually its characters that we've previously at least got a glimpse and ones that tie into the main narrative, this for the first time looks to be somewhere so different, that this part reads like the start to a totally different novel.
"You should be in bed!" whispered Klara Steiner, dumbfounded.
"There's someone in the bedroom."
He sounded scared. She did not immediately realise what he was saying.
"It was a nightmare."
"No," he whimpered, "Please come with me."
Tenderly, she took his hand and helped him back into the bedroom. The wrinkled, warm hand of the nun did nothing to change his fear. In front of the door, he paused as if his legs turned to stone. Steiner waded across the room to the large table after having managed to let her hand from Lukas go. On it stood the gas lamp that she brought to life.
Well...sudden change of setting and characters aside, this here is a pretty nice scene being built here...unlike the long description, now we're seeing a scene with a little more tension and a sense of a certain bit of mystery and some little bits of mystery creeping through..so this does get one's attention and does it quite well.
An ice-cold shiver overtook her as the shadows of the beds piled up into black waves on the walls, turning the room into a flickering, chilly room. Steiner felt a cold hand wrap around her, gentle and plain, as the fingers trailed slowly around her neck and moved to her cheeks. Through the furrows to her eyes, it was like a split second to the old nun where she stood still until the person the hand belonged to sat down opposite her.
Steiner´'s weak eyes narrowed with a haze of panic at what was about to happen. Reluctantly, she pushed the lamp towards the person.
"Is that you, Martin?" she asked through the penumbra. "Who is that?"
You can really sense some building panic here...something is most definitely about to go down and its not going to be pleasant for anyone involved...I get the feeling that maybe we're about to see one of those murders in action somehow...what with the previous chapter also having murders in it, and this getting off to such a creepy start here in this scene.
Lukas held on to the doorstep. She tried to go to him but was overtaken by the person.
"Martin!" she repeated, somewhat annoyed.
It was only with the cut-off scream that she realised it was not the prankster Martin. Lukas slumped to the floor and hit his head on the wall. A dagger was pulled out of his back.
Steiner knelt in front of the fragile body. Almost teasingly, the person danced along the beds and finally tickled the old woman's face. With caresses she suppressed her voice while the person laughed mockingly. Steiner now realised that something was wrong. The sheets were all stained. None of the children was breathing.
If I'm reading that correctly, it sounds like a person literally just got murdered in front of them and the children in the orphanage having also been stabbed...which first of all, escalates all of this into totally new heights...when innocent children are getting essentially mass murdered, but also...that observation of the children not breathing and their sheets being stained was ever so casual for the kind of horrifying implications it has.
A mischievous whisper brought Steiner´s body into a convulsive position. Now both hands were busy scanning the face. The person was speaking.
“Why did he have to get involved? He has nothing to do with it!” the killer said angrily.
Steiner looked up. Something about her counterpart´s eyes caught her attention. They were as sinister as the depth of the sea.
“… Goldmann... is that you?”
“It´s nice that you can remember me,” she replied.
Steiner couldn´t finish her sentence. Goldmann pressed Steiner´s eyes deep in the eye sockets.
“You never saw anything. You never saw how I suffered and now he´s turned up and ruined everything for me!”
Goldmann had left the room.
Well, this is slightly confusing, its a bit hard to make out who's accusing who of what and exactly what's happening. You can attribute that to this being a confusing situation in general with everyone being in some state of shock, and also we don't really know who either of these people are...soo...uhh, well let's see.
As if the rope around Steiner had disappeared, she found her voice again and called the priest. Trying to reach Pest, she felt her way along the walls and threw down china and pictures. With her eyes squinted shut, she tried to see as she was crawling into the girl's room. Steiner could barely see anything while Goldmann was merciless as she struck the sheets with delicate stitches several times as if she wanted to show morbidly what happened to one if he did not show obedience.
“They have all suffered enough with you and Pest,” Goldmann said, “I saved them from the wings of the abbey.”
Speechless, Klara knelt again.
SOo...that looks to be the murderer there...cool...looks like that's maybe even the mysterious piano lady...although I can't really judge if she's be able to be in all of these different locations at once cause I don't really have a mental picture of where all these places are in relation to each other.
Steiner recognised Goldmann coming towards her. It was only a matter of seconds when Goldmann dragged her into the courtyard. Steiner pleaded for her life; tears flowed down her cheeks. Sitting under the olive tree, she could vaguely perceive Pest being brought next to her. Like old potato sacks that had to be burned, the murderer laid them rudely on the spot.
A prayer to the moon made Steiner cry out for help. In the wasteland, no one heard her. Desperation made her forget how her colleague beside her was being maimed with solicitous words. Pest was already lying on the ground when Steiner finally lost her last hope. She felt the warm blood of the priest on her knees and hands.
So I think the reaction for the murders are only now of sort of properly trickling as this woman also pleads for here life. You're conveying this scene fairly well, you can see how someone would be as unresponsive as this woman is at the start cause of her trying to just wrap her head around what's going on. Its a sudden turn of events, bit a good one I think...although this feels oddly separated from the rest of the story, so I don't know if you've picked the best position for it as far as plot is concerned.
"Please!" the old woman implored, “We´re sorry. We didn´t know what would happen to you. Believe us.”
“I no longer believe anyone. He interfered and screwed everything up. I had a plan. I´m going to kill him. I´ll kill them all! For what they have done to me…”
Goldmann didn´t speak in anger. It was sadness. It was as if she was on the verge of a collapse. Steiner did not know what she could have done. Humiliated and covered in blood, Steiner was getting dizzy.
Steiner couldn´t react anymore. Steiner received slaps in the face for misconduct she had not committed. With each new slap, the agony became more unbearable. Steiner did not understand how the pent-up rage caused the murderer to go blind.
She did not care. At some point Steiner no longer felt anything. Faintly, she heard Goldmann's voice before she fell to the floor and lost consciousness.
Soo...she was kind of beaten to death...hmm, well I suppose whoever did these murders were definitely not responsible for the ones at the village, these are very much crimes of passion here and Goldmann is doing this in some sort of twisted sense of forgiveness while punishing the ones who run the orphanage. She seems like perhaps someone who was once in this orphanage and was treated poorly in some aspect. The motivation of Goldmann here is very different to whatever motivation the killer of the Preuß family had...that was a lot more subtle and thought out...hmm...analyzing all of this I wonder...how this one is connected to the others.
“What have I done?”
Goldmann sat next to the dead Steiner and cried. Like a child who had just realised how much of its toys it had broken, she could not take its eyes off her.
Tears ran down her cheeks.
“Léonard is my rescue. We have a contract after all, don´t we?”
Well..this about sums the headspace Goldmann, in her rage she probably didn't realize the horror of what she was doing and her thoughts of salvation here as interesting, so she was the figure under that cloak...but what she's doing this far away and on contract to Léonard is...interesting...also finally this now ties into the rest of the story...but hmm...I think at the very least, that long description needs to be chopped into pieces, cause while the murder scene can work...in the overarching plot, the description being literally an entire scene dedicated to what would be like a two minute overhead shot of a location in a movie doesn't work well in a story, it takes you wayyy out of the actual plot..cause we have mystery scene, followed by description scene and then shocking scene. That's not a very good sandwich there.
Aaaaand that's it for this one.
Overall: Overall, not a bad scene, my favorite part was that last little scene, tying this to Léonard and things we already know makes this a good scene...or I was worried for a second there especially in that first part. Well...I suppose I'll find out the aftermath of this pretty horrifying crime in the next part
As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.