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I am reading "Goldstein" by Volker Kutscher and came across this sentence:

Charly schilderte ihm, wie sie die Woche verbracht hatte, dass sie seit Montag in einem inoffiziellen verdeckten Einsatz für Gennat unterwegs war, dass sie in dessen Auftrag Alex aufgetrieben und einen mordverdächtigen Schupo beobachtet hätte und dass dieser Schupo ermordet worden sei.

My question is why is hätte used in the second last clause? Charly is describing something that has already happened in the story, it isn’t hypothetical, so I expected hatte instead of "hätte".

Is it because in the story she ought to have had the policeman suspected of murder under observation the whole time she was railing him, but didn’t (that’s when he was killed)?

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    Charly is describing something that has already happened No. This is just a claim. - But Björn nails it..
    – TaW
    Sep 15 at 18:51
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The problem of this sentence is that, although the structure is the same for all enumerated subordinate clauses, all three moods (Indikativ, Konjunktiv I, and Konjunktiv II) are lumped together:

Charly schilderte ihm, wie sie die Woche verbracht hatte [Indikativ], dass sie seit Montag in einem inoffiziellen verdeckten Einsatz für Gennat unterwegs war [Indikativ], dass sie in dessen Auftrag Alex aufgetrieben und einen mordverdächtigen Schupo beobachtet hätte [Konjunktiv II] und dass dieser Schupo ermordet worden sei [Konjunktiv I].

This is bad style and shows sloppy use of language. Since this text is a description in indirect speech, I would use the Konjunktiv I. (Where I were in doubt, I would use Konjunktiv II.) For example:

Charly schilderte ihm, wie sie die Woche verbracht habe, dass sie seit Montag in einem inoffiziellen verdeckten Einsatz für Gennat unterwegs gewesen sei, dass sie in dessen Auftrag Alex aufgetrieben und einen mordverdächtigen Schupo beobachtet habe und dass dieser Schupo ermordet worden sei.

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    Thanks for the answer, that helps me identify things a bit more. I just updated my question. Might the Konjunktiv II be used because in the story she ought to have had the policeman suspected of murder under observation the whole time she was following him, but didn’t (that’s when he was killed)?
    – Ben
    Sep 14 at 13:19
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    As far as Indikativ vs. Konjunktiv goes, yes, that's possible. If the person has doubts that Charly really did surveil the murdered policeman, they would change the mood that way. Using Konjunktiv II instead of I in my mind puts even more doubt on that part than on the statement that the policeman was murdered.
    – YetiCGN
    Sep 14 at 13:24
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    Mixing of moods isn't necessarily bad style or sloppy, it can also be a deliberate way of grading reliability of information. In this case, the information how she spent the week isn't actually given in that part of the sentence, so there's no point using a Konjunktiv: I'd say indicative mood is actually the only correct thing there. ... Sep 15 at 18:36
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    ..Then for “unterwegs gewesen sei”, Konjunktiv Ⅰ expresses that the writer doesn't vouch for her having been in undecover action, but doesn't put it in question either. Whereas the original indicative states this as a fact, which is again plausible if that operation has already been confirmed elsewhere at this point. Likewise, “dass dieser Schupo ermordet worden sei” is a neutral reporting of her account. OTOH, putting “Schupo beobachtet hätte” in Konjunkitiv Ⅱ puts focus on this particular statement as either dubious or causally important for something else discussed before or after. Sep 15 at 18:36
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    —Now, I'm not saying the author actually intended all these nuances, but it's certainly not impossible either. Sep 15 at 18:36
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The author is changing from indicative to subjunctive mood (Konjunktiv) here in the middle of quoting Charly in indirect speech. Both "hatte" and "hätte" are possible, "hätte" is simply the subjunctive version of "hatte". Similarly, "dass dieser Schupo ermordet worden war" is possible.

Note also that "in dessen Auftrag Alex aufgetrieben" is connected to "hätte" as well: It should be interpreted as "in dessen Auftrag Alex aufgetrieben hätte" but is combined with the following subclause to reduce redundancy.

In indirect speech (at least in German) the use of subjunctive mood is often used when you want to make clear which parts you place less credibility on than others.

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    Thanks, that’s helpful.
    – Ben
    Sep 15 at 11:59

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