This novel is the author´s first crime novel, a psychological thriller translated from Dutch.
The book is subtitled Never Go Back, and I must admit that even without having read several enthusiastic reviews of it, I could probably not have resisted that.
The main character and first-person narrator, twenty-three-year-old Sabine Kroese, has just returned to her office job after a burn out. The reader soon begins to fear for her mental state, however, as the female colleagues harass and bully her, led by Renée, their semi-official head of department.
Furthermore, Sabine is haunted by memories of her youth when her 15-year-old classmate Isabel disappeared without a trace. Isabel and Sabine had been best friends, but when Isabel grew up faster than Sabine, everything changed when Isabel and all the girls from her class began bullying Sabine.
The plot begins when Sabine sees a notice in the paper about a high school reunion. Soon after she meets Olaf, a colleague from another department and an old school friend of her brother Robin. Olaf sweeps her off her unstable feet, but when he suggests they go to the reunion together, Sabine is not sure it is such a good idea to rip up in the past.
A compelling mystery where everything happens very fast, especially when Sabine realizes that she has some repressed memories about Isabel´s disappearance. Psychologically, the plot reminded me of the Danish writer Christian Jungersen´s The Exception.
If Dutch crime is like this, I want more!
This novel is part of my 2010 Global Reading Challenge, and I bought it myself.