Carla Roberts lives alone in the top of a highrise building, frightened by the sound of the lift stopping and opening on her floor, with nobody getting out. Days later, she's found brutally murdered. Meanwhile Samson Segal, an unemployed thirty-something, has taken to spying on his neighbors, particularly beautiful and successful Gillian Ward.
When Gillian's daughter comes home to an empty, locked house, Samson takes her in but finds himself venting his anger in his diary when his good Samaritan actions go unappreciated, unaware that his suspicious sister-in-law cracked his password long ago. When Gillian's husband is then murdered in his own home, Samson comes under intense scrutiny but the only man making any progress on the case is the one who shouldn't be working on it. Yet he's the only one who believes Samson is innocent...
It was late on Sunday evening when Carla was first conscious of a peculiar thing about the lift and its doors. At that point she did not have long to live, but her powers of imagination could not let her see what would happen to her that night.
She sat in her flat, somewhat puzzled, because suddenly she was certain about what had been going on for a few days now. The lift would come up to her eighth floor, stop, the doors would open automatically, but then nothing further would happen. No one got out; she would have heard their footsteps in the corridor. Nor did anyone get in; she would have heard footsteps beforehand. She was sure there had been none. If there had been, she would have registered them on some level of consciousness. The building was not good at muffling sounds. It was a seventies tower block, a rather unadorned block with long corridors and many flats. Families lived in the larger flats and the smaller flats were inhabited by singles who worked ...
In addition to being a truly gripping thriller, The Watcher also offers genuine character development, as its central characters all evolve and grow as individuals even in the wake of the troubling events that bring them together. American readers can only hope that more of Link's work will soon be available in translation.
(Reviewed by Norah Piehl).
Full Review (959 words).
Thanks to authors like Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum, and Henning Mankell, not to mention Stieg Larsson, American readers have become quite familiar with contemporary Scandinavian thrillers and novels of psychological suspense. As The Watcher demonstrates, however, the Nordic countries hardly have a monopoly on this genre, and in recent years several novels by contemporary German thriller writers have begun to hit the English-speaking market. Here are a few names to look for:
From left to right, top to bottom:
Petra Hammesfahr, Nele Neuhaus,
Andrea Maria Schenkel, Jan Costin Wagner
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