The cover of Sophomania by Danielle Zinn

Travel to Crottendorf in Germany in Sophomania, a thrilling detective novel by Danielle Zinn.

Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for sending me a free copy of Sophomania in return for an honest review.

Sophomania follows Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas, who receives an anonymous letter with a finger belonging to a boy who died over 20 years before. Shortly later, there are two more deaths. Nathaniel calls in his trusted colleague, DS Ann Collins, for extra support — as well as a young intern who is looking to learn the ropes. Crottendorf might not be as quiet a village as it first appears…

You can buy Sophomania on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format, or add it to your TBR on Goodreads. It’s also included in Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

My review

“A sophomanic is someone who believes he is smarter than he actually is; disillusioned of super intelligence. Someone inordinately proud of his intellect, but unfortunately in reality not as clever as he thought.”

I’d never come across the word sophomania before so I was very glad of this explanation from Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas, or Nat for short.

This is the first book of Danielle Zinn’s that I’ve read but it can certainly be enjoyed as a stand-alone. Danielle has created a really atmospheric novel with interesting characters. There’s certainly a lot more going on in Crottendorf, a quiet village in Germany, than I would have expected! Danielle’s descriptions of the surrounding Ore Mountains are beautiful and her love of this area shines through the pages.

I liked Nat, our main character, and I felt quite sorry for him at times in the story. He seems to be a very kind person and I felt like his good nature was taken advantage of in many places — and could really feel his frustration with his colleagues. He is incredibly understaffed, having just one DS and a junior intern to help him with three murder investigations! Nat is also struggling from his own trauma and the recent shocking death of his father. It felt like he just couldn’t catch a break throughout the story.

I have mixed feelings about DS Ann Collins, Nat’s colleague. While a good detective, she behaves in an incredibly immature and unprofessional manner throughout the book. She also has a history of poor behaviour, receiving reprimands for her attitude. She and Nat have a on/off romance but to be honest, I just couldn’t see why. Nat even admits to himself later in the novel that he doesn’t know much about her, outside of work, as she isn’t very honest and open with him. The romance just didn’t work for me and felt a little out of place in the book.

The story was really addictive and kept me hooked throughout the story. I’ve read lots of mysteries but I was totally stumped about the murders until the very end! There are so many potential suspects and links between them. The ending was very satisfying — with a bit of a cliff-hanger, too! Overall, this was a gripping, exciting read with a very likeable main character, and I’ll have to check out the first book in the series.

The blurb for Sophomania

When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas is presented with an anonymous letter and three unexplained deaths in less than twenty-four hours, he realizes that his idyllic home village Crottendorf masks a turbulent reality. Summoning his trusted colleague, DS Ann Collins, Thomas begins to unravel what quickly becomes an overwhelming mountain of conflicting evidence.

So many secrets. So many lies. So many attempts to cover things up.

All is not as it first appears and it proves a lot harder to pin down the killer who prides himself on being more than one step ahead of the DI.

A deeply rooted family tragedy, greed and vengeance are at the core of this crime novel. The twists and turns of Sophomania leave you wondering to the very end who the real murderer is—or if there may actually be more than one killer on the loose in the anything-but-sleepy village of Crottendorf.

A photo of Danielle ZinnAbout the author, Danielle Zimm

Danielle Zinn is a German author, born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany where not only her debut crime novel Snow Light is set but also her second book, Sophomania.

She holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham/UK and has settled down in Leipzig/Germany where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

She was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher. Over the last years, she circumnavigated the globe and loves visiting her friends scattered all over the world.

Keep up with Danielle over on Twitter and on Facebook.

About the blog tour

I was sent a free copy of Sophomania to review by Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources as part of a blog tour — you can view the full tour schedule below. Check out these amazing bloggers and Instagrammers for book reviews, guest posts and extra content!

The blog tour banner for Sophomania by Danielle Zinn

You can buy Sophomania on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. It’s also included in Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

The Amazon links used here are affiliate links — I will receive a small commission from Amazon for any purchases you make.