Book blurb: Josy, a twelve-year-old girl, has an inexplicable illness and vanishes without trace from her doctor’s surgery during treatment.  Four years later Josy’s father, well-known psychiatrist Viktor Larenz, has withdrawn to an isolated North Sea island in order to deal with the tragedy.  But then he’s paid a surprise visit by a beautiful stranger. Anna Glass is a novelist who suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: all the characters she creates for her books become real to her.  And in her last novel she has written about a young girl with an unknown illness who has vanished without trace …

Is the inconceivable possible? Do Anna’s delusions describe Josy’s last days?  Reluctantly Viktor agrees to take on Anna’s therapy in a last attempt to uncover the horrible truth behind his daughter’s disappearance ……

What can I tell you about this psychological thriller?  I could tell you that it ticks all of these boxes:

a) It takes the reader right to the centre of a deluded schizophrenic mind.

b) It engenders compulsive until early-hours-of-the-morning page-turning without recourse to gory violence.

c) When the pieces of the jigsaw began to fit together, I simply didn’t believe it and not because of any implausibility.

d) As a result, while I foresaw one major plot twist, I didn’t anticipate the final one.

e)  The only disappointment was that I reached the end so quickly.  (But what am I to expect when I refused to put the book down.  I can be so contrary sometimes!)

I could tell you all that, but, instead, suffice to say that this is the best psychological thriller I’ve ever read …..

….. and that my attempt at not buying more German books ended 5 minutes after finishing it with one click to buy Fitzek’s 2nd novel translated into English.  (My bank manager thanked his lucky stars that I’m not reading German originals.  I think Fitzek’s backcatalogue runs to 6 more ….)

 for the novel and one extra for the acknowledgement

First and foremost, I’d like to thank you, the reader.  Not because I have to, but because I think we share a certain solidarity.  Reading and writing are solitary and intensely personal activities, and I’m honoured to be the recipient of the most valuable gift in the world: your time.  Especially if you’ve made it all the way through to these acknowledgements.

Maybe you’d like to tell me what you thought of the book.  You can contact me via ……. 

Well, I’m not going to refuse an offer like that.  So I took emailed the author and asked him for a German crime week recommendation.  Within a couple of hours I had a response.  (What a nice guy!)  ” The best German psychothriller I ever read was “Der stille Herr Grenardy” by Petra Hammesfahr. It is the first German thriller I read in one night.”

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