International bestseller Sebastian Fitzek plunges readers into the depths of their own souls in a new high-concept thriller.
The Soul Breaker destroys women.
He doesn't kill them or mutilate them. But he leaves them completely dead inside, paralyzed and catatonic. His only trace a note left in their hands.
There are three known victims when suddenly the abductions stop. The Soul Breaker has tired of his game, it seems.
Meanwhile, a man has been found in the snow outside an exclusive psychiatric clinic. He has no recollection of who he is, or why he is there. Unable to match him to any of the police's missing people, the nurses call him Casper.
Casper makes little progress regaining his memory, but he grows restless and wants to leave the clinic to piece together the few clues to his life. But the weather has taken a turn for the worse, and the clinic becomes completely cut off to the world outside.
No one is able to reach the clinic, and its staff and patients cannot leave. So when the head psychiatrist is found trembling, naked and distraught, with a slip of paper clasped in her hands, it seems somehow the Soul Breaker has returned . . .
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Average rating from 57 members
Thanks to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for allowing me to read this in return for an honest review. Wow, well what can I say? Each book of Sebastian fitzek I read is better than the last. This gripped me from the start and I didn't want to stop. I'm glad I no longer have a heart problem as this definitely kept it beating quicker! I would love to know what happened after the last page! Lastly, does anybody know what the answer to the last riddle is???
This book was captivating and addictive I couldn't stop reading, the pacing and atmosphere created a thrilling story which kept me hooked until the last page. The structure of this book was unique, reading a book within a book, I just couldn't get enough of it.
Loved it loved it loved it! I read this book very quickly, gulping it down as though I’d been deprived of good thriller/fiction for months (which isn’t true at all, I’ve read plenty of great books this year so far, but I have been starved of this level). I’ve been cursing the miserable weather lately, yet I was glad of a gloomy day on which to curl up with this book. I do want, and need, to read it again, though, to properly get under the skin of the story and discover the nuances I may have missed. I give this book a sure fire 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐️ it is extremely well written, clever and has a lot of mystery and intrigue. Love this author!
Wow! The Soul Breaker is an incredible, terrifying and twisting thriller. I couldn’t bear to put it down. Absolutely perfect. This book needs to be read cold, don’t google it or get an idea of it. Sebastian Fitzek is a hugely skilled writer who can make you feel claustrophobic and scared while reading in the middle of the day. Incredible!
4.5 rounded up. Holy Moly what a start!! Two students are asked by a professor to study the transcripts of The Soul Breaker in order to conduct an experiment. The Soul Breaker leaves victims catatonic, their minds destroyed, all possessing a note which makes little sense and then the perpetrator seems to stop. About three months later a man with amnesia is found in the snow outside the exclusive Teufelsberg Clinic, they name him Caspar. As the weather deteriorates what unfolds is an exceptionally dark and gritty ‘locked in’ mystery which will keep you guessing and guessing! I’ve read several books by Sebastian Fitzek and find his novels absorbing and most certainly showing the jet black side of humanity. This one is terrifying in places, mind numbing and utterly chilling as the perpetrator is beyond devious, ice cold and the book becomes impossible to put down. At times the scary narrative seems surreal, it has a dreamlike, nightmarish under the influence of mind altering drugs quality to it and I wonder what dark world I’ve stepped into!! The plot is an enigma, trapped in a puzzle and sealed with a code you can’t interpret - think JJ Abrams!!! It keeps you absolutely hooked from beginning to end. How the author manages to pull together all the complex themes and threads is extremely clever. There are multiple twists which keep you guessing (mostly wrong in my case!) and it jogs along at a fair old pace and you need to keep up! This is a really compelling page turner, it’s very different, you could even argue it’s a bit weird but did I like it? Oh yes! The plot turns keep on coming right until the very end. Overall, if you like complex thrillers and don’t mind a dark theme then this one is for you! With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Head of Zeus for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
Less is more going into this book - well as it is with all Fitzek's books to be honest. He is the master of suspense and leading the reader down the wrong path...! We start with a bunch of students conducting an experiment - their only task is to read the account of something that happened way back in the past. But they must carry on if they start... Then we switch to seeing what is happening in the account they are reading. We meet the Soul Breaker. A tormentor who does not kill, but who does leave his victims in a deep sleep. The only clue is a note found in their hands containing of all things a riddle. The main action is set in a psychiatric clinic where a man has been found half dead in the snow with no memory of who he is. The weather takes a worse turn and the clinic is cut off. And then the head psychiatrist is found in a deep sleep... with a note... The Soul Breaker is among them, locked in... I love Fitzek's books - I have read every one that has been translated so far. I have also listened to several dramatisations - including of this one - so, for full disclosure I did know the story and how it ended before I started reading this book. I don't think that mattered as there was quite a bit cut from the dramatisation that was contained in the book and it had also been a fair while since I listened so I had forgotten a fair whack. I have to add here that obviously this has been translated from the original German but, to be honest, there was never a point where it felt like that. It read just like it was written in English - so fluent and containing the right amount of colloquial English to feel real. So if you have qualms about reading translations - I wouldn't worry. As with all Fitzek's books he doesn't pull his punches herein. It's gritty and brutal and quite graphic in places. It's not quite as nasty as some of his books but he does have his moments along the way. Characters are well drawn and all play their parts well within their storylines. Plotting is tight and extremely well executed. It kept me on my toes throughout and wasn't obfuscated by any padding or waffle. Which also meant that it went along at a fair lick. All in all, another winner from one of my favourite authors. I see that there are a couple more of his books being translated soon. They can't come soon enough for me... My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
I had already read this novel in Spanish, but I couldn’t remember the plot, just that I had liked it a lot. My amnesia had nothing to do with this excellent novel, I just don’t have a good memory. I remembered some details but every twist surprised me all over again. The plot is completely unpredictable and utterly engrossing. The characters are not quite believable, but they serve their function of acting as potential baddies or victims. The setting is as creepy as they come, a mental hospital in the middle of a blizzard. It’s spooky and atmospheric. I wasn’t sure what the chapters set in the present, where a professor conducts an experiment, had to do with the main plot, but the whole explanation made sense. The ending surprised me all over again, and left me breathless. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/Head of Zeus!
Sebastian Fitzek is a new author to me but when I received an invitation to read The Soul Breaker I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did. The story is dark and atmospheric with an extremely eerie setting and it got me hooked immediately. I really enjoyed this one and will definitely be reading other books by this author now I have discovered him. Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for my ARC.
Brilliant, I loved it. Sebastian Fitzek has produced a wonderful piece of writing with this tense and entertaining Thriller. It’s full of great characters, and a plot that I really enjoyed. At times I was on the edge of my seat. So many hours of great entertainment. The authorities are baffled by what the Soul-Breaker is doing to his victims. Leaving women in a terrible state. The only unusual thing is that none of them have been physically hurt, just mentally traumatised into a catatonic state. Caspar is pretty sure he has a daughter going by all the dreams he has been having, however being in a psychiatric clinic with no memory of anything else that’s happened in his life, is making him very unsettled. When doctor Sophia Dorn in suddenly attacked in the clinic, it becomes clear to everyone that the Soul-Breaker might be somewhere inside the facility. Now everyone is scared out of their mind. You can’t help but be pulled into this story. It’s well worth a read. 5/5 Star Rating
Oh my word, this was a fast pacing heart racer. I was on the edge of my seat reading this! I couldn't turn those pages fast enough. yet at the same time I was afraid to! A very clever and well-written book.
“It wasn’t murder, it wasn’t rape, it wasn’t torture; this crime was far, far worse” The real crime about this book, was definitely that I spent so much time sat on the edge of my seat, glued to the pages, that I had a numb bottom and a completely messed up head, by the end! It really is no surprise that I suffer with Nosocomephobia (that’s a fear of hospitals in everyday language) and that’s just as a visitor, mention an appointment and I am like someone demented, which also rather neatly sums up part of this, for me, very uncomfortable, claustrophobic and nerve-wracking journey into the minds of both victims and perpetrators. The page-turning story hit the ground running with those very first lines, no slow build up to the plot here. The action wasn’t fast paced, although the many twists and turns, kept things moving along steadily and seamlessly. The ending was more or less what I was expecting, although even then Sebastian had to sneak in another genius variable, which left things over, yet up in the air! To be fair, the final twist was just about the only element of the storyline I saw coming with any real accuracy, everything else had me playing catch-up, – and I thought I had a rather devious streak in me when it comes to working out thriller plots, but this one was something else! The story is narrated in dual timelines, although it doesn’t dive back and forth too many times and the well signposted, considered length chapters, made things easy to keep track of. Very well structured, intensely textured and multi-layered, this lugubrious storyline was quite unique and unconventional, putting me very much in mind of the 1970s film Coma, an adaptation of the Robin Cook book of the same title. Those underground hospital corridors that go on forever, with lighting that only operates as you approach it and then switches neatly off as you pass, always leaving you in semi-darkness. Those sterile rooms full of machinery which is always large and noisy, concealing a whole host of real and imagined horrors. Those areas of hidden terror, the pathology departments and morgues, where anything or anyone might lurk in the shadows. A sense of time and place which was so strong as to cause a palpable tension within me. As well as being a consummate and powerful storyteller, Sebastian is an author skilled in the visual depth, desperate intensity and immersive qualities of his narrative and dialogue. He writes with total authority and complete confidence, about a subject he has clearly thoroughly researched and manages to tie up all those loose ends neatly. Sometimes the technical details were a little overwhelming, but I needed to be clear in my own mind what was happening in this distorted picture, so that little bit of extra concentration on my part, really paid off in the long run. Wow! are these people weird or what! What kind of socially depraved caves do they inhabit, that they really think that playing with people’s minds, making them like the walking dead, is in any way acceptable! Sebastian paid great attention to detail when he cleverly crafted a small cast of completely unlikable, complex characters, who have been afforded individually strong, almost malevolent voices, with which to tell their story of dark dread and menace. Each one of them has some kind of axe to grind, or a deep, dark secret which they wish to remain hidden. There can be no sense of working together to outwit a common enemy, as each of them is a suspect in the others take on the situation, so there is no one foe to fight for, in this emotionally disturbing, complex snapshot of mans inhumanity to man.
Well what can I say about the Soul Breaker but utterly mind blown! There aren't many books that get under your skin or play mind tricks but this one does it in spades. The Soul Breaker is not interested in killing his victims not in the common sense but he destroys you from your own mind, When Casper awakes to find himself in a psychiatric clinic he has no memory of who he is or what he life was before he got here and how 8s he somehow connected to The Soul Breaker. After finishing this book I will be constantly looking for clues to see if this has effectively changed my mind! ,