Published: 18th July 2018
Synopsis: Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.
Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.
As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…
The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill.
It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.
Not sure where to start with this book – so much to say! My first tip, DO NOT start this book in the dark on your own!! This book creeps into your mind and lurks there waiting for dark – I don’t mind saying I was checking under my bed for monsters that first night.
I initially didn’t get on with the main character Magnus, I found him very self-centered and arrogant. As the book progresses you learn more about his background and motives and that certainly helps to make him more well-rounded to the reader. The side characters in this book are well written and all have a great part to play, of all of them, I especially liked Walter, he was good and honest with clean motives.
When you are first introduced to Dortmund and the asylum you get an instant creepy vibe – the descriptions of the place leave you with a very dark and desolate feeling that adds to the whole atmosphere of the book. In this first section you are also introduced to the ‘nine’ that inhabit the asylum, all of whom tell their story to Magnus. If you are not a fan of graphic violence and strong language I would probably avoid this book. There are scenes/retellings of torture, rape and murder and also some racial slurs which some may find offensive.
The atmosphere and tension really ratchet up though out this book and I struggled to put it down once I hit the half way mark as so much was going on and I was desperate to reach the conclusion. And boy does it deliver – several moments that made me go ‘how did I miss that?!’ I actually felt tense reading this book.
If you love a dark and twisty book this is one for you, thank you to the author and Rachel at random resources for a copy to review