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Syndrome E  By  cover art

Syndrome E

By: Franck Thilliez, Mark Polizzotti - translator
Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
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Publisher's summary

The classic police procedural meets cutting-edge science in this huge international best seller. Already a runaway best seller 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.

Critic reviews

“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)

What listeners say about Syndrome E

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Nice... ;)

Kept my attention all the way through, and the accents weren't very annoying... Ha Ha... ;)

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  • NL
  • 01-08-17

Terrific Read

Things like this actually did happen and by exploring it, this became a real exciting mystery.

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Smart and interesting

I liked the detail and different sort of path the story took. Perhaps a tad smaltzy at the very end but in general a mystery for the brain not the heart.

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    3 out of 5 stars

gruesome imagery

I am not squeamish but the gruesome imagery kept coming and there was too little story in between to offset the gross and disturbing factor.

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  • JR
  • 03-13-16

Held My Attention

Good Book, exciting plot with unexpected twists, going to get part 2 of this book

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Wow, just wow. This is a story for the curious

I can’t recommend this book enough. No spoilers here, but I have to say I was pretty surprised by how it unfolded. At first I thought I’d have difficulty with the narration, but found myself enjoying it more and more. Yes, there are a few spots where the story drags, but they aren’t long and we are immediately back to the suspense or action. I think the story itself was so involved that whenever Thilliez had gotten into character development or a side story I just wanted to hop right back on that ride to crazy town. My curiosity was piqued the entire time. I’m happy to say I just learned this is now a French TV series, and the movie may be in the works.

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Great listen!

Great book well written. Many pieces to this crime book and they are put together by a master writer. Frank Thilliez has a lot of talent. The next book in this series is in my cart.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A MUST if you enjoy police procedurals/detectives

What did you love best about Syndrome E?

This book is compelling. I couldn't turn it off. It's also smart. The science sucked me in.

And THANK YOU everyone involved in the narration for ensuring the French names were pronounced correctly. Seriously, thank you!!!!

What other book might you compare Syndrome E to and why?

The last time I couldn't turn a book off was Robert Galbraith's Career of Evil. Thilliez's characters and their relationship isn't developed as well as Galbraith's, but the story is no less compelling for all of that. I also give Thilliez points for taking on the issues that he does.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The story is disturbing, but it's smart disturbing. The villain(s)' actions and motivations aren't just another barrage of violence or sadism. This brand of evil speaks to issues our society must confront.

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