Tell Me What You See
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Translated from the German, and atmospherically set in Berlin over a snowy and icy Christmas and New Year, this novel is a deft combination of supernatural spinechiller and realistic story of teenage emotions and relationships. The opening is unforgettably spooky and nightmarish. 16-year-old Alissa regularly visits her father’s grave at Christmas, aided and abetted by her best friend Evelin. This time the visit coincides with unusual cold and heavy snow. Searching for the grave, Alissa falls into a hole from which a passage leads into a mausoleum crypt, where she finds the coffined body of a child with a strange plant growing from its flesh. Nothing thereafter quite rivals the original creepiness of this scene, but the suspense and mystery that flow from it are unrelenting. Alongside a supernatural mystery the novel also traces Alissa’s relationship with her former boy friend Simon, who is not creepy but simply a creep. Through his actions the novel conveys to great effect the malign psychology of a stalker and the ordeal of being stalked. Natural and supernatural intertwine compellingly in this winter mystery, which Alissa survives at great cost.
This is an unusual and gripping story, with some important truths of teenage emotional life illuminated through the metaphysical fantasy. PH