Schneider, Hansjörg

Hunkeler und die goldene Hand (Hunkeler and the Golden Hand)

Ammann Verlag, Spring 2008, 256 pp.
ISBN: 978-3-250-10516-9

Hunkeler, the grouchy, elderly detective inspector from the Basel Criminal Investigation Department, whose seventh appearance before the public this is, is on sick leave receiving treatment for his bad back. He waits impatiently for his turn at the spa’s Jacuzzi jet when suddenly there is uproar. Two chattering women stop talking and start screaming for help, a body in the main pool comes into view, gushing blood, various unidentified figures streak past and disappear. Then a distraught young man with a knife strapped to his leg rushes forward. He is the boyfriend of the victim, a Basel art collector and gallery owner, and he is immediately arrested. But did he do it?
It really is time that the endearing Hunkeler, a wise, independentminded and sometimes accident-prone loner, got a showing in Britain. After all, just think Andrea Camillieri, for instance. The sex here is mixed – the detective’s assistant, as well as the young suspect in the case, is gay. The setting is the interesting triangle of territory embracing Alsace, the Black Forest, and of course Basel itself and the cantons surrounding it. And then there are the frequent samplings of those delicious Alsacian wines. Irresistible.

‘Excellent characterisation and perfect narrative rhythm and drive.’Das Kulturmagazin


Hansjörg Schneider was born in 1938 in the small Swiss town of Aarau near the Jura mountains. He has written a wealth of plays and novels and has been awarded the major crime novel awards and others for his work in the theatre. He lives in Basel.

Previous works include:
Silberkiesel (1993); Das Paar im Kahn (1999); Tod einer Ärztin (2001); Hunkeler macht Sachen (2004) – all Ammann Verlag.


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