I knew the author from her YA books. How she was as a thriller writer I wanted to find out, so I asked for this book. And what a unique thriller it turned out to be! This thriller is about extreme religiousness, called “evangelical” by experts. Kathrin Lange uses fatalism some individuals have to create cases and background that works with the sometimes-perfidious psychological finesse humans can develop or already have inside them. 

40 Stunden*
by Kathrin Lange
Faris Iskander Series #1
Publisher Blanvalet on January 1, 2014
Genre Thriller
Pages 414
Format Softcover
Source Publisher

When the investigator Faris Iskander receives a video, in which a man is beaten to a cross, he does not suspect that this is the beginning of a true nightmare. For only 40 hours remain for him to find the victim. If he fails, the perpetrator will fire bombs everywhere in the city. A race against time begins. Faris suddenly finds a link to a previous case – and realizes that the perpetrator is closer to him than he ever thought possible… (personal translation ©Vi at Inkvotary) 
Faris gets a telephone call and from that moment on he is on an emotional rollercoaster and who literally pulls the ground under his feet. The perpetrator wants only to deal with him and Faris must not only follow his instincts but also dig out everything he knows as a special crime investigator and part of the SERV Team to solve this case. And when he finally realizes that there is something else even more dangerously hanging in the air, threatening thousands of innocent people, he has no other choice but to do things on his own and the only way he knows how to do them: alone. 

The tone in this thriller is partly thoughtful and very burdensome. Kathrin Lange writes in a very decent style though she sometimes lets her figures become very blunt and direct. No matter how she creates a scene or a dialogue, it fits perfectly together. And Faris is a man with a lot of edges and a very dark side deep inside him. I liked the way how he thought things through, how he saw everything that happened around him, and how he dealt with the various situations. 

The plot is parted in three strands. Two of them cross each other multiple times before all three of them come finally together. The auctorial narrative perspective is the base for the entire story. Which gives you as a reader a wonderful insight into all the different scenes, the things that happen outside Faris´ work, and let you sometimes know more than Faris himself does. And one thing is for sure. The author doesn´t hide anything. She brings even the darkest things a human soul can have to the outside and develops over the entire thriller a tension and haunting plot that´ll hold you captive until the very end. Oh yes, the author has definitely no problems with speaking things out loud, even though she does write in a very sensitive way.

The authors´ main figure is a man that doesn´t fit into the general picture you might have from a man. Faris has gone through hell. And you could easily think that he is a broken man. But in this thriller, he shows a passion and a terrific instinct that saves many lives. His own included. I was very impressed by how three-dimensional and profound the author has Faris created. And her other characters are almost the same. There is the boss that would nothing rather do than to fire Faris because of his unconventional way to deal with his cases. And then there is his team, which he trusts with his life. And which teaches him a bitter lesson.

A very intense and unique thriller. Here is entertaining entertainment guaranteed. This story knows to convince with its tension and technical finesse. And the misuse of a certain accessory was especially impressive. Read.

Happy reading

*This book was, at the time this review was published, only available in the German language.

Kathrin Lange
Kathrin Lange ©Susanne Kraus

Kathrin Lange was born in Goslar in 1969. Although she initially had plans to join the police dog squad, her love for books then won the day and she first became a bookseller and then a writer. Today she is a member of the International Thriller Writers and writes bestselling novels for adults and teenagers. She lives with her husband and two sons in a small village near Hildesheim in Lower Saxony, Germany.


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