The Hairs? How they get Hermann's hair to go grey/blue and now recede? How they get Clarissa's hair to get more luxuriant, then fall out, then grow back?
No, the heirs. And Clarissa's having chemotherapy. I've always thought she's needed some kind of therapy but this is going a bit too far.
It's 1997. And it's Ernst's turn to die. Yes, they're coming thick and fast now.
Oh, but you've got to laugh. Ernst is feeling broody. Not that he wants a baby, he wants a fully grown heir. (Unlike that on top of his head). And he looks at teenage Matko, the son of his Yugoslav ex-housekeeper who is now living it up in Bosnia. Ernst thinks Matko's a great kid. Matko rides a scooter, he tries to flirt with a grown woman, he wants to be a pilot just like Ernst, he nurses an injured pigeon back to full health. Matko's an annoying twat. But Ernst likes him. He'd love to have a son just like him.
So Ernst goes to a private detective who specialises in finding the offspring of men who have spread their seed all over Eastern Europe. Ernst hands the dick a photo album of smiling young women. The dick flies away. He'll be back.
In the meantime, Ernst is really hoping the Schabbach authorities will authorise the building of the Ernst Simon Museum. Ernst wants to be the big "I am" and take his works of art from out of his batcave and into the public arena. The council say "no". And Ernst kind of flies aimlessly over the Rhine in his new Cessna light aircraft, the plane loses a bit of power, and Ernst flies into the side of a cliff. Boom.
The dick comes back from Bosnia, claiming that Matko is Ernst's heir. Matko, a simple soul, is more interested in his ailing pigeon. He gets called names at school and stones are thrown through his bedroom window. His pigeon dies. He is dragged for a blood test, runs away, and jumps off a cliff. He really is not made of stern stuff.
Oh God, what else happens?
Clarissa comes back home after her therapy. Her singing hasn't improved.
Lulu is big friends with Hermann and Clarissa and seemingly in charge of all building work in the Rhineland.
Hartmut has lost everything: His business and the unexplained disappearance of the Russian woman.
And the twist at the end?
The blood test proves that Matko is not Ernst's son.
One more to go, and I don't know about you but I'll be glad when it's over.
Some book reviews
1 day ago