The Sinner

The Sinner

Book - 2007
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Perseus Publishing

“In this intelligent novel Hammesfahr has etched with precision the thoughts of a woman on the edge of madness.”—Der Spiegel

Cora Bender killed a man. But why? What could have caused this quiet, lovable young mother to stab a stranger in the throat, again and again, until she was pulled off his body? For the local police it was an open-and-shut case. Cora confessed; there was no shortage of proof or witnesses. But Police Commissioner Rudolf Grovian refused to close the file and began his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into a woman’s private hell.

Hailed as Germany’s Patricia Highsmith, Petra Hammesfahr has written a dark, spellbinding novel. At the top of the bestseller list, The Sinner has been reprinted sixteen times and sold over 760,000 copies at home. Translated into eleven languages, this is the first Hammesfahr title published in English.

Petra Hammesfahr, born in 1951, left school at thirteen, became pregnant by an alcoholic at seventeen, and began writing novels at the age of forty. Her first thriller was turned down 159 times, but eventually success arrived. Hammesfahr has written over twenty crime and suspense novels. She also writes scripts for television and film. She is married with three children and lives near Cologne.


She cut a stranger's throat in broad daylight in front of her family. But why?


Blackwell North Amer
Cora Bender killed a man on a sunny summer afternoon by the lake and in full view of her family and friends. Why? What could have caused this quiet, lovable young mother to stab a stranger in the throat, again and again, until she was pulled off his body? For the local police it was an open-and-shut case. Cora confessed; there was no shortage of witnesses. But Police Commissioner Rudolf Grovian refused to close the file and started his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unravelling of Cora's past, a harrowing descent into a woman's private hell.

Publisher: London : Bitter Lemon Press, 2007
ISBN: 9781904738251
1904738257
Characteristics: 338 p. ; 20 cm

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darladoodles
Oct 09, 2017

I had hoped to read this before watching the limited series on USA, but did not get my turn until after the series had finished. In retrospect, I believe that was the order that worked best for me.

Cora is one disturbed young woman and as I read this book I saw some glimpses of Patricia Highsmith's work, but also "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest came to mind. Throughout the investigation of the murder on the lido, Cora is interviewed by police, a professor at the mental institution and her lawyer. Sometimes her rantings and ravings are downright whackadoodle and for a good reason. The household she grew up in was downright despicable. It made me cringe to see how her mother behaved using religion as a crutch to beat her own family into submission. How crafty the evil one is to masquerade as religion in a household like that.

This is one twisty, dark journey into the world of Cora Bender. I am giving it three stars, not because I "liked it" but to give the author credit for making Cora's world so believable.

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