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Publisher's Summary

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

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By AudioAddict on 02-20-15

Bizarre and Disturbing

STORY (mystery) - Syndrome E is an enjoyable book, but not something you want to listen to as you're trying to fall asleep! As the summary suggests, it's based around a violent film containing subliminal images which cause strange behavior in others. A young female cop and an older male detective work together to solve the mystery of the film and the murders it has inspired. Most of the story takes place in France and Belgium, but there are trips to Canada and Egypt to follow leads. There are scenes in the film which are gruesome, and there are mutilations involved with the murders. I wouldn't have been able to listen to these murders as they occurred but, thankfully, they are all described after the fact with just a brief description of the atrocities.

The final solution to the mystery of the film is interesting but it's pretty far-fetched. I still had questions left unanswered in the end, and I'm not sure if the story is to blame or the fact that I was only able to listen to it in lots of short, disjointed sessions.

PERFORMANCE - The narrator is male with what I would call a French accent. His voice is very low, which I think works perfectly with the sinister plot of this book.

OVERALL (actual rating 3.5) - I would recommend this for mature men/women who might find psychological manipulation interesting and are fine with violent scenes. There's a teeny bit of romance and even a teenier bit of sex. Oh, and a small amount of profanity.

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85 of 88 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Just Jen C on 10-01-12

Unique and entertaining, an absolute must.

Stunning book with a unique plot that manages to tie-in film history and neurology. Incredibly entertaining with one of the most unique main characters I've ever encountered. Bizarre and graphic, yet genuinely touching. A book that, while somewhat far-fetched, also rings true...very-much like life. Highly recommend.

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35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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