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Publisher's Summary

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 best seller list, The Sinner has been reprinted 16 times and sold over 760,000 copies at home. Translated into 11 languages, this is the first Hammesfahr title published in English.

©1999 Rowohlt Verlag GmbH, Reinbek bei Hamburg; English translation copyright 2007 by John Brownjohn (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A FIVE

I was sold by the blurb describing the book.... I was not disappointed. Just the perfect blend of excellent writing, plot and character development.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

At first the story was convoluted. Actually it was convoluted the whole way through with Cora's vacillation between truth, lies, and obstructed memories. But it was also interesting trying to keep up with it all. The story does require concentration. But that's the fun part. The author's ability to spin yarn after yarn interspersed with morsels of truth, is admirable. To think and write like an emotionally compromised woman and still construct a compelling (albeit confusing) story is pure genius. For those who couldn't muster the wherewithal to follow the plot, they certainly forfeited a treat. I loved this book! It was impeccable brain exercise with a reward for the reader. It induced such a range of emotions and feels. All the characters were carefully portrayed... right down to the wise and lovely Mario. This book is a kaleidoscope of conversations, guilt, lies, mental and emotional trauma, abuse, and finally redemption, all tied up with a beautiful bow of humanity.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great performance!!

I loved the book! The narrator did a fantastic job. Her ability to convey so much emotion while reading the story was really spectacularly done. You can't help but be drawn in. I couldn't wait to be able to listen to more.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark, disturbing, heart-breaking but worth the read

I can't say I enjoyed this book because the subject matter is so sad and tragic and disturbing, but it was very well-written and plotted. There are many themes here (religion, nature vs nurture, guilt, etc) and I am still trying to understand exactly what the author was trying to say. I think the main point is that people can let guilt consume them and steal all the joy from their lives and turn them into maniacal people who hurt and abuse those they love the most. Guilt can also cause your mind to obfuscate the truth of an event and twist it so that you lie to even yourself about what really happened, forcing you to live out a penance for you know not what. Cora -- the ultimate unreliable narrator -- lived in that self-inflicted purgatory for 5 years until one seemingly innocuous trigger caused an event that brought everything crashing down and forced her to see the reality of what she had been hiding from herself. An event with which she can never come to terms. Beautifully written and majestic in its tragedy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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WOW

I absolutely loved this. It was well paced and really interesting. I was fascinated and needed to know how it ended. And the woman that read it did an excellent job.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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INTENSE PSYCHOLOGICAL RIDE!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Sinner to be better than the print version?

Yes. The reader was awesome. I think her reading/acting made the book!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sinner?

Too many to count and don't want to give anything away.

What about Christa Lewis’s performance did you like?

Her accents. The different tones she use. The quiet way she speaks to get your attention.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The closeness of the sisters. The doggedness of the detective.

Any additional comments?

Tough tough subject matter. But if you are in the mood for a head trip, listen to this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrifyin,Dreadfull,Fantastic

Incredible well written, different and strange.
Noir and sad.
Suspenssfull, twisred, and on top all ,entertaining
Would love to read more from this author

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • joy
  • Fallbrook CA, United States
  • 06-18-17

Interesting and unusual story.

I listened to this story in one day plus some of the night and cried for what a tortured soul the main character was burdened with.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Exquisite Story

I loved listening to the twists and turns of the plot. It's very well written and I couldn't shut off the audio book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Great story. Excellent narration. Gripping and suspenseful. Highly recommend. Only reason I don't mind my two hour commute

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for MR SONER KIZILTAS
  • MR SONER KIZILTAS
  • 09-04-17

Would recommend to a friend

Great story, lots of detail and twists and turns. I liked the fact that it was quite dark and narrator played the parts well, very much looking forward to the TV series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful