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4.3 out of 5 stars154
4.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 January 2009
A good psychological thriller that was well paced and detailed with a strong fluid writing style. I did have a bit of trouble wondering how to pronounce some of the German words (I've never learnt German) but it didn't detract from the book.

The descriptions of the places paint a detailed picture of each location. There are a variety of characters and events that build the story and some quite scary parts that are real page turners.

There are many twists and turns throughout. I gave the book 4/5 becaise I I did guess the main twist about half way through. However, I wasn't sure about the 'who' so I was still compelled to read on and find out what precisely was going on. Even with guessing part of what the cause of Josy's disappearance was, the ending was still revealing and unexpected.

Highly recommended if you like psychological thrillers. I'll be looking at what else Sebastian Fitzek has written
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2008
Josy is a twelve year old girl, who develops a mysterious illness, then one day disappears. There is absolutely no trace of her, and her body is never found.

Her father, well-known psychiatrist Viktor Larenz, is unable to cope with the loss, and after splitting up with his wife, he retreats to an isolated island, in an attempt to heal.

His time there is shattered by the arrival of Anna Glass, a schizophrenic who claims that characters she writes about come to life; and she has a story to tell about a young girl with an unknown illness, who has disappeared. Is there a connection? Can Anna's delusions explain what happened to Josy?

For anyone who enjoys thrillers, this is an absolute must read. It's fast paced, with plenty of twists and turns, and I found it almost impossible to put down. Is Anna the one with the mental illness, or is it Viktor?I felt completely absorbed in this story, and it's characters, and they have stayed with me ever since I put it down.

I would be very surprised if this doesn't become a hit film, and I'm going to recommend it to everyone!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 January 2014
A short novel that packs a punch. Viktor's daughter Josy has been ill for quite some time and he brings her to be examined by yet another doctor. As the book opens he is beside himself because she has simply disappeared from the doctor's consulting room. There is no body to mourn and no real clue to her disappearance.

Fast forward 4 years and he is in his holiday home on the fictional island of Parkum in the North Sea where he is trying to deal with her disappearance. Clearly he is still struggling.

The arrival of Anna Glass at his isolated home stirs up his latent professional leanings (he was practising as a psychiatrist before Josy disappeared), yet he is simultaneously unsettled. She seems to have access to every area of his life, both physically and psychologically and insinuates herself into his very core and consciousness. The more he has contact with her, the more any physical contact with the mainland is cut; and the more he seems to lose connection with reality. Or does he?

Ultimately there is the dawning realisation that much of the storyline is a fractured thought process, with paranoia, projection of motive from one character to another, schizophrenia, and hallucination. Is it Viktor's stream of consciousness that is becoming more and more muddled as he frantically tries to find out what really happened to his daughter? Or is it Anna's unstable mental state that is gradually clawing its way into Viktor's subconscious? As Viktor gets in deeper with Anna and begins the process of therapy with her, he believes he is gaining clarity that it is not for her benefit, but for his. And that is sacrilege in the patient/therapist relationship, but his need to find out what happened to Josy overrides everything, right to the last chapter. He believes Anna has the key to her disappearance.

The cover is a terrific representation of content. The bleak sea and grey skies envelop the title, they serve to inspire foreboding, and provide an ominous setting for potentially ominous events.The title is in smeared red blood and there is a tiny child's hand and face, blurred behind frosted glass - Josy's presence is there but only vaguely intimated. The grey, churning environment mirrors the psychological ferment that underpins the storyline.

The setting for this novel per se is confined to Schwanenwerder and Berlin, and in the main to the fictional island of Parkum (we wonder whether it is based on Borkum) out in the German area of the North Sea. It is a credit to the author that he can conjure up the weight of the elements, and the isolation of this small island in the angry sea. He writes a story that twists and turns, although at times it is, to be frank, quite preposterous and repetitive, yet nevertheless manages to keep the momentum going. The translation, although on occasion quite americanised, is good.
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on 14 December 2013
This book would not be for everyone. It explores a part of human nature that many people would rather leave to someone else. It was intriguing and had so many twists and turns that you felt you needed treatment! Definitely like this author, he has a way of writing that reads easily. Well worth reading if you like a challenge.
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on 4 August 2014
... I initially downloaded the freebie start of the book. It had me enthralled from sentence 1.

I bought the book as I was so intrigued. That was yesterday afternoon. I just could not put it down, I read in bed, on the sofa, in the bathroom and the kitchen.

I was gripped, but also a little scared, it had me holding my breath, second guessing, wondering ... a bit of a roller coaster book of thrills. Very good plot, well written and quite, quite psychologically thrilling. Is he mad, is he sane and there is a dastardly plot against him, is he evil ... I'd definitely recommend this book to thrill seekers.
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on 23 March 2014
Others have given a synopsis of the plot, so I won't however this is one of the most interesting, thrilling and intense reads I've had in a long time. I was torn between not putting it down, and needing to look away, take a breath and regroup, before reading on. At various points I thought I knew what had happened, or how the story might unfold, and I was wrong, every time. In parts I was moved to tears. Exquisitely drawn characters, incredibly well-crafted plot, dripping with drama and intensity, utterly believable, highly recommended.
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on 8 June 2014
So gripping! Twists and turns at every chapter! I couldn't put it down! Would recommend to absolutely anyone. Fitzek is a fantastically gripping writer. Splinter is also a fantastic read but the ending to this book is superior in my opinion. I've never read books from a writer who is so perfect at pulling hundreds of strings together at the end. It's so complex, it's amazing how he comes up with this stuff! It truly is a must read.
I can't wait to read the Eye Collector now. Fitzek's writing quality is amazing.
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on 8 August 2014
what a whirlwind of a book. It had twists and turns in spades never having read anything by the author before I was a bit apprehensive, but I'm so glad I did.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers with a twist, it has you guessing who Anna is all the way through the book, only to find out that she is a delusion as is the majority of the book but it doesn't leave you feeling cheated in any way. loved it and will be on the look out for more book by this author.
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on 18 April 2014
When I started this book, I couldn't put it down, reading until my eyes resisted all attempts to keep them open... And still my mind was craving more story. It was very well written apart from the author's tendency to give the title mister to things like a cough. The plot though was a little far fetched and confusing at the end. I got lost in the many twists and turns. I wanted more of an ending, but was left feeling let down and with a sense of disbelief at the whole story.
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on 9 January 2014
I can't say whether this book is for you. Obviously some people love it because of their high reviews. I personally thought it was dragged out, boring and utterly confusing. I gave up half way through and just skimmed my kindle, I was very dissappointed and I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.
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