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  • Hans Werner Kettenbach passed away on 5 January 2018 at the age of 89 in Cologne.
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Hans Werner Kettenbach passed away on 5 January 2018 at the age of 89 in Cologne.

Hans Werner Kettenbach

20.4.1928 – 5.1.2018 The German writer Hans Werner Kettenbach passed away on 5 January 2018 at the age of 89 in Cologne. 

Hans Werner Kettenbach was born in Bendorf/Rhein on April 20, 1928. He passed through different trainings, studies and jobs before becoming a writer age fifty. His books Minnie and Sterbetage earning him the most fame. In total he wrote fifteen novels, five of which have been adapted for the screen, a collection of essays and short stories, plus dozen screenplays, including for Willy Millowitsch in the role of Inspector Klefisch. He was awarded the prestigious ›Friedrich Glauser Ehrenpreis‹ in 2009 for his life’s work as a crime writer.

Critics have compared Kettenbach’s novels with the work of Sjöwall/Wahlöö, Georges Simenon and Patricia Highsmith, often emphasizing that his books shine a light on the moral fractures in our society.

Bitter Lemon Press had the privilege of introducing him to Anglophone readers with the publication of "Black Ice", followed by "David's Revenge" and "The Stronger Sex." 

Hans Werner Kettenbach studied journalism and theatre, German literature, history and philosophy at the universities of Munich, Hamburg, Cologne and Bonn from 1947 to 1953, followed by Eastern European history, medieval and modern history and philosophy at Cologne from 1958 to 1964. In his early years, he worked as an advertising salesman, a stenographer for the sports magazine Kicker, and an editor for radio and television plays in Cologne. From 1964 on, Hans Werner Kettenbach was a newspaper editor at the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. He became a correspondent in 1968, initially in Bonn and from 1977 to 1978 in New York. In 1978, he was promoted to head of politics in the Cologne editorial office, and from 1988 to 1992 he was the deputy editor-in-chief. Hans Werner Kettenbach was married since 1957 and had two daughters. 

With Hans Werner Kettenbach, we have lost »a masterful storyteller and one of Germany’s few world-class crime writers.« (Ulrich Baron/Rheinischer Merkur, Bonn)

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    Francois Von Hurter
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