Friedrich Ani

Killing Happiness - Novel

(German title: Ermordung des Glücks)
ca. 317 pages
Friedrich Ani
Foto: Friedrich Ani
© Tibor Bozi

Friedrich Ani was born in 1959. His first novel was published in 1996, and since then he has gone on to write crime novels, poetry and YA-fiction, as well as writing for TV, radio and theatre. His books have received many prominent awards, among them the Bavarian Cultural Ministry’s Advancement Award for Literature and the German Crime Fiction Prize. So far, he is the only author ever to receive the German Crime Fiction Prize for three titles in the same year.

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Happiness is extinguished completely when 11-year-old Lennard Grabbe doesn’t come home one night during the cold November days in Munich. 34 days later, he is found the victim of a murderer. Former Detective Chief Superintendent Jakob Franck, protagonist of Ani’s previous novel Day Without a Name, delivers the most horrible news of all to the parents – and so, happiness disappears from their house. And so does the happiness of other people connected to Lennard.

While the special task force is unable to make any progress in the case and the family cannot find a way to deal with the loss, Franck buries himself in witness’ statements and reports up to the point of total exhaustion, spends hours at the crime scene and employs his special technique of »Gedankenfühligkeit«, a sensory-conceptual abstraction of facts and thoughts guided by intuition – always in the hopes of finding the »fossil«, that crucial piece of information necessary for solving the case. He is not only driven by the need to bring the family clarity and help them ease their grief, but also by the painful memories of the unsolved murder cases from the days of his active duty.

After Day Without a Name, the first instalment of the series revolving around Jakob Franck, awarded the German Crime Fiction Prize 2016, now follows its second instalment, Killing Happiness. Yet again, Friedrich Ani combines deepest sorrow, human abysses and breathtaking tension in a novel whose melancholy can hardly be surpassed.


» With Killing Happiness, Friedrich Ani has achieved a multi-layered novel defined by delicate characterisation and a subtle build-up of tension.« FOCUS 41/2017

»Friedrich Ani writes with clockwork precision, in his unique, unconventional tone, sleek and sharp and still rich in atmosphere.« Frankfurter Rundschau

»Friedrich Ani could easily win the German Crime Prize for the eighth time.« Tobias Gohlis, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

»Crime writing can be so artistic and moving.« Welt am Sonntag kompakt

»Ani manages to appeal to the reader’s emotions. This shows utmost skill.« Hanspeter Eggenberger, tagesanzeiger.ch

»Ani’s crime novel is characterised by psychological intensity and dark melancholy in elegant prose.« Rainer Rönsch, Sächsische Zeitung

» ... This is why you long for Jakob Franck to chase the next rainbow when he hasn’t even finished his second one yet.« Elmar Krekeler, WELT ONLINE

»It speaks for Ani’s wit and intelligence that in the world of his truly extraordinary crime novels there is also room for the banality of coincidence.« Wolfgang Höbel, LiteraturSPIEGEL September 2017

»Ani makes demands of his readers. It is almost impossible to resist a strong emotional bias. But this is exactly what makes this readable novel stand out once more as praiseworthy and worth reading.« Sigismund von Dobschütz, infranken.de

»Once again, Ani proves to be a brilliant narrator and connoisseur of human nature.« Petra Pluwatsch, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

»Friedrich Ani is the emotional powerhouse among German crime writers.« Die Zeit

Other publications

Nackter Mann, der brennt/Naked Man Burning (2016)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg)

Der namenlose Tag/Day Without a Name (2015)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Italy (Emons), Greece (Gutenberg)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg), German Entire Radio Readings (HR and BR)