“Darkroom” by Bernhard Aichner: photo shoot with a corpse | Tyrolean daily newspaper online

Zufriedenes Lächeln nach getaner Schreibarbeit. Bernhard Aichner veröffentlicht heuer zwei Bücher.

© Foto Rudy De Moor

By Markus Schramek

Innsbruck – His name is Bronski, David Bronski. Doesn’t sound very British and also not extremely Tyrolean. But Bronski is from Innsbruck. He fled his hometown because the worst happened to him: his child was kidnapped and never seen again.

Bronski goes into hiding with his wife Mona in the urban jungle of Berlin. This succeeds quite reasonably on a scale between right and bad. Bronski finds a job as a press photographer in Germany’s capital. It runs. Then his cell phone rings.

At the other end a voice from repressed Innsbruck times. Kurt, once Bronski’s colleague in the daily race for press images, lures the renegade Tyrolean: It would be because of a corpse. In Innsbruck there were gruesome and creepy things to be photographed: a mummified dead person, but a whole head shorter. The head of the macabre find has been severed and is missing, location unknown. So far in stock, these are the well-preserved remains of a very wealthy German with a weakness for Tyrol. It has long been considered lost. Now it becomes clear why.

Bronski is already on the way in the car towards Tyrol. He doesn’t miss this photo shoot. The pictures promise big booty.

Much will be left to read about this Bronski. He is the new character in the novel by crime writer Bernhard Aichner. Tyrol’s currently most successful book author makes his new plots around the photographer. “Darkroom”, part 1 of the multi-volume Bronski series, with the initially described return to looking at corpses in Tyrol, comes out today.

The book trade has completely cleared shop windows and sales areas with the new Aichner. People like the Tyrolean Crimean. Why should it be any different this time? The publisher thinks that too. He throws the second Bronski volume “Gegenlicht” on the market at the end of July.

Aichner didn’t have to dig too deeply into research for his fantasy product Bronski: He was a (press) photographer himself before he made his breakthrough as an author. His description of the media scene is not exactly flattering, but it is accurate: a lot of loners on the hunt for the next story, annoying when asking questions, but taciturn when it comes to revealing their own emotional worlds.

Culture reporters, as we always suspected, are by the way real jack-of-all-trades. Bronski is being supported by culture editor Svenja during crime research in Tyrol – no one else was available at the moment. Bronski is etching and blaspheming: Of all people, someone who usually goes on high culture between champagne and caviar should get this tough story. But Svenja proves to be a thoroughbred journalist. She is ahead of the police with her level of knowledge.

Of course, this case will also be resolved in any case. So much can be revealed: Bronski is not the murderer, although, for the noblest of motives, he makes a fake confession that the police ridiculed.

When it comes to writing, Aichner remains completely himself: short sentences, a lot of speed, abysmal evil plot (if you only think of something like that). You don’t turn to your books to find answers to the big questions in life. Aichner’s thrillers are good entertainers, suitable to have a few hours of reading on the sofa.

The crowd of those who complain about Aichner’s output (too simple, not socially relevant) is getting smaller, but at least quieter. And his fan base? She’s probably already on her way to the bookstore to come out with “Darkroom”.

Thriller Bernhard Aichner: Darkroom. btb, 352 pp., 17.50 euros.

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