It’s over, my angel. Today I’m going to die. Just like her. He’s won.
It’s been years since Nadja Kulka was convicted of a cruel crime. After being released from prison, she’s wanted nothing more than to live a normal life: nice flat, steady job, even a few friends. But when one of those friends, Laura von Hoven – free-spirited beauty and wife of Nadja’s boss – kills her lover and begs Nadja for her help, Nadja can’t seem to be able to refuse.
The two women make for a remote house in the woods, the perfect place to bury a body. But their plan quickly falls apart and Nadja finds herself outplayed, a pawn in a bizarre game in which she is both the perfect victim and the perfect murderer . . .
I know there were a few weeks of silence but a combination of not enough sleep (the cat still keeps me awake every night from around 3 am), 8 hours of work already on the computer each day and some other things filling my head (my apartment’s final delivery is coming up but there are still things that need to be solved, just to name one), well it drained my energy and made my reading and reviewing suffer. I can’t even promise to be back next week, I’ll have to see how it goes, although I do hope to feel more energized and full of inspiration to write reviews soon (it’s amazing that I had so many visitors in between though, now I feel even more guilty for not keeping up).
Anyway, I want to let you know my thoughts on Sleepless by Romy Haussman today. I was a big fan of Romy Hausmann’s first novel Dear Child so I was thrilled with a chance to read Sleepless. There’s no comparing the two novels though, this new title did have an altogether different feel to it, even though it is also themed as a psychological and mystery novel.
I was already a good portion into the story before the connections between the characters made sense, especially at first it felt quite confusing. A young girl Nelly is having an affair with a salesman who stays at her parent’s inn whenever he’s travelling but it was impossible to work out what her appearance had to do with Nadja, especially because it happened in a different time frame. I couldn’t place what happened in the past to Nelly in any context and this thread is left then as well so other then introducing another character into the story, I did not see the relevance right then but eventually it does become clear in the end.
Nadja Kulka is quite a mysterious character, she was arrested when she was only 15 for committing a terrible crime and now she’s in the heat of the fire again when she’s called for help by Laura, a friend she made while working at a Gero van Hoven’s law firm. I’m always team underdog so I liked her but with everything that happened the author managed to make me have my doubts too… Is Nadja the perfect victim or is she in fact the one orchestrating and lying most of all? Who is the real villain of the story, Laura, her husband Gero van Hoven, or Nadja, it isn’t always clear and changes a over the course of the story too.
I absolutely love novels with fascinating characters that make me want to analyse them and Nadja was the most fascinating of all. Laura was a cheat and Gero a shark (he’s a lawyer after all) who didn’t listen when his client said he was innocent, so I catalogued them as the other party from the start and there was no love lost on them but Nadja, yes she was the one worthy of trying to figure out. Haussman is at her best on the psychological front and I enjoyed this part the most again. Nadja’s childhood was addictive to read and the story also came full circle with Nelly’s story tied into the great emotional ending of the novel. The story is about sacrifice but you’ll have to read it to learn who is being sacrificed. I found it a tad unbelievable, in light of how it all started but maybe I’m too severe, who knows. Let me know when you read it so we can exchange viewpoints.
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.