A man called Horvath has vanished. The last leasing instalment for his car has not been paid. Reluctantly, Brenner agrees to a request from his old friend Berti and sets off to perform the mundane task of bringing back Horvath‘s vehicle – which entails him setting off on the long journey into the depths of the provincial countryside. A forwarding address left at the post office leads him straight to the Löschenkohl, a country restaurant with a fine reputation for roast chicken.

Each week thousands of chickens have to depart from this life here, so they can be fried in crispy batter and then gnawed down to the bone. A bone-grinding machine reduces the remains of the chickens into feed for the next generation of poultry in what is virtually a vicious circle of eating and being eaten. The only sign of Horvath that Brenner finds is a glimpse of his leased car – which soon vanishes without a trace, just like its owner.

But Brenner‘s detective skills are required elsewhere too, as it turns out.
The landlord‘s son needs his help in order to establish once and for all exactly what happens to all the money which the old landlord extracts from the company each week. For Brenner this new mission comes along just in time … because he is about to fall in love with cheeky Birgit, the cook and wife of the junior manager.

And since the bewitching Birgit has turned his head to such an extent, he very nearly loses it. In fact, by the time Brenner realises what dangers there are lurking behind the facade of the Löschenkohl Restaurant, it is almost too late. And while a masked ball is being held in the main room of the restaurant, and everybody in the village – conveniently concealed by masks – is letting their hair down, in the cellar both love and murder are given free rein. Once again Berti turns out to be not only Brenner‘s friend but also his guardian angel, appearing just in time to help solve the mystery of the vanished Horvath.

THE BONE MAN brings another of Wolf Haas‘ cult novels to the screen. And by now there is no doubt that Josef Hader has become the incarnation of the laconic private detective Brenner. But here too we can take delight in Brenner‘s affable screen companion Berti (Simon Schwarz) and – once again – in a cast comprising outstanding actors (from Josef Bierbichler to Birgit Minichmayr), giving us every reason to believe that Brenner‘s witty, spine-chilling show will become a major cinematic experience.