The Devil’s Sanctuary by Marie Hermanson – Review

October 10, 2013 Review 2 ★★★★

inanutshell2What happens when you take an estranged dysfunctional family and mix them with a secret psychiatric facility hidden away in the Swedish Alps? You get intrigue, mystery, a few cases of what-the-fuckery, and you most definitely get the feeling that you, too, might be going crazy. Daniel’s adventure made me feel as if I were insane at times.

The Devil’s Sanctuary by Marie Hermanson – ReviewRelease Date: September 3, 2013
Title: The Devil's Sanctuary
Author: Marie Hermanson
Pages: 416
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Available: Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: When Daniel arrives in Himmelstal -- a private Swiss psychiatric facility -- to visit his twin brother Max, he has no idea what's in store for him. He finds himself unquestioningly accepting Max's plea for help and the brothers swap places in order for Max to take care of some business. All he claims to need is a couple of days in the outside world to settle his debt. But soon Daniel realizes Max isn't coming back, and that the clinic is far from a place of recovery. Struggling to get anyone to believe who he really is, Daniel finds himself trapped in a cruel and highly secretive prison: this is no sanctuary, it's a living nightmare...
4 Stars

Have you ever read a book that makes you go what the fuck for most of it? But then you keep reading anyway?

This is one of those books.

It was… odd. But not in a bad way. It was very different from everything I read. The closest thing I can compare it to is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – but honestly, it’s nothing like that book. I think I feel a resemblance because they’re both thrillers that have been translated into English. (I also never made it through Larsson’s book – it was boring to me).

Max and Daniel had a fucked up childhood. They were twins raised separately and, as a result, are very very different adults. They really don’t have much of a relationship, but when Max writes and asks to see Daniel while in a clinic of some sort, Daniel goes. He’s a good soul.

He’s a naive soul.

Max convinces him (tricks him) into switching places with him at the clinic (Daniel often wonders is this some sort of rehab clinic?) but promises to come back in a few days.

You know where this is going right? (If not, go read the summary again.)

I just didn’t understand why Daniel never figured out the kind of place he was in or what kind of person his brother really was. All the signs were there. All the signs.

In the end, I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up late trying to figure out the secrets of the clinic and the town. I wanted to know if Daniel would get out and if Max would be caught. This is the kind of book where the ending is not at all predictable, and you don’t see it coming until it happens.

What Others Are Saying:

  • Crime PiecesIn the end it was an enjoyable read and, although not a genre I normally read, there was enough suspense to keep me turning the page.
  • Bewitched BookwormsThe Devil’s Sanctuary is much more than a book about identical twins swapping places. Daniel doesn’t have any idea what kind of place he’s been abandoned in, and the tension mounts as the story unfolds and the secrets are revealed.

2 Responses to “The Devil’s Sanctuary by Marie Hermanson – Review”

    • Mandi Kaye

      Thanks! It was definitely out of my wheelhouse, but I needed something a little different to read.

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