The eight-year-old Inca doesn’t come home after class. Her parents report her missing, and no one at school claims to have noticed anything. “She’s such a quiet person. A little loner. She doesn’t have many friends,” says the deputy school director Monika Hollig (Susanne Böwe). While Inspector Michael Lehmann (Peter Schneider) hopes that the girl will show up again soon, his colleague Henry Koitzsch (Peter Kurth) has a bad premonition. Inca is actually found dead in an allotment. The coroner reveals sad details: The student was abused and died as a result of a broken neck. Lehmann and Koitzsch are investigating in different directions. Does the perpetrator come from the family environment or circle of friends? What do the homeless people who live in the garden know? Or does a pedophile known to the police have something to do with the crime? Finally, the focus also comes to Inca’s math teacher Mr. Krein (Sascha Nathan). The educator is very committed to caring for his students, but has no family himself. In the end, the crucial clue comes from a woman suffering from dementia.

The crime thriller lives primarily from the sensitive production and almost literary dialogues. As in the first episode, the script comes from writer Clemens Meyer and director Thomas Stuber. The two men have managed to create a sensitive, calmly told film that not only describes the fate of the killed Inca, but also portrays one of the suspects in detail. The math teacher Mr. Krein lives alone in a dreary prefabricated apartment. He hoards stuffed animals in his living room that he calls “my friends.” Out of frustration, he stuffs himself with tons of sweets. After the student’s death, the man is targeted by a violent vigilante who makes his life hell. The ending of the film is as surprising as it is moving.

The new Halle “Polizeiruf 110” team Koitzsch and Lehmann made their debut in May 2021. Three years later, the inspectors are now being used again. After such a long time, as a viewer you actually start from scratch again – even if the ARD repeated the first case “On the Saale bright beach” a few days ago. In addition, the film – once again – paints a bleak picture of Halle an der Saale: unemployment, poverty and social misery characterize the story. A rather one-sided portrayal of a city and its residents. The positive, hopeful sides are often neglected in stories about the East.

The investigators Henry Koitzsch and Michael Lehmann are two completely different types: one is a rough cop with an alcohol problem, the other is a father of three who ended up in the police force as a career changer. The girl’s death particularly affects Lehmann. In order to protect his colleague, Koitzsch increasingly investigates on his own, which annoys his partner. “This isn’t your private case. I’m tired of your going it alone,” he shouts at him in one scene. In the end, they can only solve the case together. For Koitzch, the investigation leads to a reunion with the teacher Monika Hollig (Susanne Böwe). In the first case, she acted as his blind date. Fun Fact: In real life, actress Susanne Böwe and actor Peter Kurth are married.

An investigator duo that has been seen far too rarely: You shouldn’t miss the second case involving Koitzsch and Lehmann.

Also read: The cop and the nurse: New team of investigators in Halle an der Saale