The classic police procedural meets cutting-edge science in this huge international best seller. Already a runaway bestseller in France, Syndrome E tells the story of beleaguered detective Lucie Henebelle, whose old friend has developed a case of spontaneous blindness after watching an extremely rare—and violent—film from the 1950s. Embedded in the film are subliminal images so unspeakably heinous that Lucie realizes she must get to the bottom of it—especially when nearly everyone who comes into contact with the film starts turning up dead.
Enlisting the help of Inspector Franck Sharko—a brooding, broken analyst for the Paris police who is exploring the film’s connection to five murdered men left in the woods—Lucie begins to strip away the layers of what is perhaps the most disturbing and powerful film ever made. Soon Sharko and Lucie find themselves mired in a darkness that spreads across politics, religion, science, and art while stretching from France to Canada, Egypt to Rwanda, and beyond. And just who is responsible for this darkness will blow listeners’ minds, as Syndrome E forces them to consider: What if the earliest and most brilliant advances and discoveries of neuroscience were not used for good but for evil?
With this taut US debut, Thilliez explores the origins of violence through cutting-edge and popular science in a breakneck thriller rich with shocking plot twists and profound questions about the nature of humanity.
Franck Thilliez is the author of several best-selling novels in his native France. Syndrome E is his first novel to be translated into English in the United States.
©2010 Editions Fleuve Noir, Department d’Univers Poche. Translation 2012 by Mark Polizzotti. (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Blending science and neurology into the intrigue of his excellent thriller, Thilliez takes us into the maze of the human brain, with all the evils it can unleash.” (Elle, Paris)
“A tour de force…. A captivating plot that keeps the reader in his seat until the final moments.” (Le Monde)
“Franck Thilliez leads his story like a beating drum, multiplying the reverberations without ever losing track of the psychological development of his characters…A reflection on the origins of violence that is as playful as it is erudite. Essential reading!" (Metro, Paris)
Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.
I think we can stand to have another take on films that kill (The Ring).
An interesting thriller that will keep you listening to the end.
Gildart Jackson as the narrator goes a little over the top with some of his accents.
I enjoyed this much better than Gone Girl. Its a lot darker.
music nut, history buff
The fast pace and the technical details. Wow, it was shocking and frightening.
The clues and the way you learn about the intricacies of film-making, as well as psychology.
The one where they start to take apart the strange film and see what's hidden in it.
It was intensely frightening. The story plays almost like a horror movie, more than a crime story.
I hope they make this into a real film. It would be as much fun to watch it as it is to read or hear.
Mobile and Web developer, Audible member since 2004. Trend towards mystery-thrillers just for fun, but read most everything of substance (i.e. no romances here).
Stunning book with a unique plot that manages to tie-in film history and neurology. Incredibly entertaining with one of the most unique main characters I've ever encountered. Bizarre and graphic, yet genuinely touching. A book that, while somewhat far-fetched, also rings true...very-much like life. Highly recommend.
... But not great either. Syndrome E is a passable thriller. The characters are sufficiently well-developed and the narrative is satisfactorily engaging. The science, however, is thin and stretches credulity well past the breaking point-- a serious shortcoming for a techno thriller.
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