HarperVia Paperback Original

A spellbinding murder mystery with the plotting and characterization of Louise Penny or Agatha Christie set in Auschwitz at Christmas, 1943. 

Auschwitz, 1943. It’s snowing outside and Block 10 looks even bleaker than usual. Gioele Errera, a young Jewish boy imprisoned in the camp, finds the body of an SS officer.

Detective Hugo Fischer is sent to investigate the unexplained death of the renowned Nazi. But Hugo is hiding a secret – he is suffering from a degenerative disease. The only way for him to survive is to give his support to the Reich and hide his condition.

In Auschwitz, Hugo comes face to face not only with a complex murder, but with a truth – that of the Final Solution. And he is forced to decide what is most important to him – and who, if anyone, he should try to save…

Inspired by the author’s family history, this wonderfully atmospheric page-turner, set during World War II, introduces a memorable hero—the flawed and fascinating Hugo Fischer.

About the author(s)

ORIANA RAMUNNO (Melfi, 1980) lives in Berlin with her husband and three kids. Following a number of awarded crime novellas and short stories in various magazines, she pursued the writing of her debut thriller Ashes in the Snow inspired by the story of her grandfather, who was detained in the Flossenbürg concentration camp. She dedicated the book to him, a book she describes as “the last act of love in a long journey.”


“This is a very smart crime novel with characters that touch your heart. The writing is superb, with descriptions that come alive – the sights, sounds, and smells are visceral.… Finally, this novel makes the reader think: What is justice for the murder of a depraved man? Can one man make a difference in this world gone mad?”  — Historical Novel Society

“A novel that moves … beyond the crime genre to which it appears initially to belong”  — London Times

“There is no doubting the power of the story and the righteous anger of its telling” Shots magazine