the guardian Sat 14 March 2009
Grant's splendid debut, set in a claustrophobic German town, combines the grisly folk-tales of the Brothers Grimm with the insidious rumour-mill of a small community where ancient wounds fester and scores remain unsettled, seen through the eyes of an intelligent, imaginative 10-year-old. Young Pia is the last person to see eponymous class-mate Katharina alive, and she is determined to find out what became of her. From a festive family dinner that goes bizarrely and horribly wrong via the spiteful minutiae of changing playground alliances, to the full-on bravura of the fist-in-mouth climax, this is a feast of treats and creeps. The excellent writing, and the eschewing of anything remotely winsome or mawkish, make this an eerily subtle literary page-turner. Wonderful.