Saturday, May 15, 2010

Daniëlle Hermans

Daniëlle Hermans works as a freelance communication consultant and lives in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. Her debut mystery is the recently published The Tulip Virus.

I recently asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
Sometimes, my reading-days go by without me getting really excited about what am reading. But there are periods – they are always periods, I don’t know why – that I read a book that I love. And then another, and another.

The last couple of weeks, I read three books in a row that got under my skin. You probably have already read them, as I am Dutch and translations take some time. If you haven’t, please do!

Two of the books on my joyful reading list are by R.J. Ellory. The reason I bought them was because they received excellent reviews here in Holland. I first read Ellory’s A Quiet Belief in Angels. We follow the life of Joseph Vaughan as he grows up in a small town terrorized by the brutal killings of young girls. During his life, as a boy, a teenager and a grown-up, he is determined to find out who the murderer is. I completely fell for the In Cold Blood-atmosphere that Ellory paints in this superb thriller.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on his novel that was released here in Holland recently: A Quiet Vendetta. When Catherine Ducane, the daughter of a senator, is kidnapped, Ernesto Perez contacts the police. Ernesto tells them he will release Catherine if they first listen to his story. We learn all about his life as a cold-blooded killer for the mafia. I don’t usually like books about the mafia, but this one is different. It’s an epic novel about a man’s life as a mafia hit man in the USA during three decades. As a writer, I especially enjoyed the ingenious way Ellory composed this book.

My third favorite is written by Gillian Flynn: Dark Places. The main character Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered. She fled the house and testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. For twenty-five years, with her brother behind bars, Libby lives off a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her. But her money has run out. We not only follow Libby, but also flashback to her mother and brother. Libby Day isn’t a nice person at all. She is manipulative, narcissistic and very irritating. As the story revolves, we come to understand her, even like her. Dark Places is a psychological thriller at its best.
Learn more about The Tulip Virus at the publisher's website and visit Daniëlle Hermans' website.

--Marshal Zeringue