The Eye Collector – Sebastian Fitzek (2012) – A Murder They Wrote Review

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I got this as a free book for my Amazon Kindle and it’s been hanging around a little while. It’s a translation from German crime fiction and I don’t think I’ve actually ever read any German crime fiction before and if the standard is as good as this I don’t think it will be very long before I read more. I was gripped. It did take a few pages as to begin with I was a little unsure. The book has a reverse structure commencing with the epilogue, then the final chapter and chapter numbering is inconsistent as we become aware that something is counting down. Any initial concerns of style over substance were completely swept away with a suspensful incident early on. This takes place on a bridge and transforms the life of negotiating Berlin cop Alexander Zorbach. This section is incredibly tense and throws you right into the story.

A serial killer is playing an elaborate game with families- killing mothers, kidnapping children and setting a deadline for the fathers to find them before they too are murdered. Zorbach, who has left the Police to become a journalist, finds himself under suspicion when investigating this killer (who also collects one eye from his child victims). A blind physiotherapist claiming extraordinary powers is directed towards Zorbach and both try to find the killer and his next potential victims before the time runs out. Fitzek handles the plot well. At times it appears to jump frustratingly but the author knows exactly what he is doing and if there looks to be holes in the plot it is just Fitzek toying with us. There were twists I didn’t see coming and I found the whole thing edgy, tense and involving. There seems to be another five books available in translation by this author. I would certainly pay for these (so Amazon’s free book ploy was a canny one). fourstars

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