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uni'alumni 2013_ENG

A pregnant woman found dead in a ravine, a journalist from Hamburg who writes travel guides about the Black Forest, a doctor’s assistant with a drinking problem, and a detective. These are the narrative threads that Petra Busch weaves into her psychological thrillers, forming a web whose mesh tightens slowly but surely as the story proceeds. Detective Moritz Ehrlinspiel is always investigating mysterious murders, whether in the depths of winter in a tiny Black Forest hamlet or at the peak of a sweltering hot summer in the Freiburg neighborhood Stühlinger. Suspi- cions abound, but they hardly ever lead to the core of the deed, because everyone seems to have something on their conscience. The suspects are often not directly guilty of the crimes, even though they are usually tangled up in the com- plex web of guilt. In all of her novels, starting with her debut effort Schweig still, mein Kind (“Hush, My Child”), Petra Busch builds up a level of suspense that the reader can hardly resist. She dissects the worlds of her protagonists – including that of detective Ehrlinspiel – with her precise and psychologically astute prose. Plus, she gives current and former Freiburgers the chance to view the region in an entirely new light. BETWEEN THE LINES: PETRA BUSCH A Tight Web of Suspense When I was a student, I didn’t have just one flat but several intertwined ones. Our top-floor apartment on Klarastraße had a great view (also through the cracks between the dilapidated roof shingles) and was marked by the usual coming and going of roommates. There were usually three of us, but there were times when there were only two. On these occasions we converted the third room into a garden room – with plastic tulips stuck into the cracks of the hardwood floor. Also exciting was the first change of roommates. I studied mineralogy, and so did the guy who was moving out. We had to separate our rock collections. Mineralogists don’t collect shiny little gemstones or crystals but big, crumbly, heavy boul- ders. Even more difficult than separating them (“Was that yours from Sweden? – “No, that’s yours from Menzenschwand”) was carrying them down and out of the house. And the photo? Well, usually I dyed my hair red with henna, but that never really led to much of a red effect, so one time I wanted to know what I’d look like if I really had red hair. So I bleached it, and then I dyed it red. Unfortunately it turned out to be more coral colored – and that was not a fashionable color at the time. But it did look good with the cooking pot. Incidentally, I gathered even more experience with apart- ment sharing during my time as state chairwoman of the Greens and in my first half a year as minister in Stuttgart – and there are a few stories I could tell about those places too; for instance about the bouquet I received along with my cer- tificate of appointment to the ministry. When I woke up the next day, I found a note my roommate had left on it: “All clear, checked, no bugs.” Hinnerk Feldwisch-Drentrup After completing a degree in mathematics, computer science, literature, and musicology and a PhD in medieval studies at the University of Freiburg, Petra Busch devoted all of her energies to the written word. Following training as a journalist at the Media Academy Rottenburg-Stuttgart, she began to write crime novels alongside her work as a freelance author and a journalist. Her first novel, Schweig still, mein Kind (“Hush, My Child”), won her the prestigious Friedrich Glauser Prize. Her second novel is called Mein wirst du bleiben (“You Will Stay Mine”), and her third novel, Zeig mir den Tod (“Show Me Death”), will appear in March 2013. Photo: Kay Coral instead of red: Silke Krebs, now a member of State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg, had a hair-dying accident when she was a student (photo, above). Photos: private, State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg MY FLAT: SILKE KREBS Klarastraße, Top Floor 17