I had no idea what to expect in a book with such a strange title. So I looked it up.
Sophomania: A delusion of having superior knowledge.
And armed with that definition, as you now are, I began reading one of the most unusual mysteries I’ve read in a while.
Based in a remote and mountainous area of Germany, the town of Annaberg outside Dresden, Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas is an unlikely hero. Having voluntarily left his position in Dresden under a cloud of failure, Nat is still adjusting to the small town life and the paltriness of police resources available to help him in his investigations when he is bombarded with a series of intricate murders – each of them stranger than the last.
With Nat as our narrator, the world inside Nat’s head makes it pretty clear that he is in many ways strangely unsuited for his role as a cop. Nat bridles with insecurity, anxiety, doubts, suffers from traumatic dreams, and is still reeling from the death of his much-despised father – a death which we slowly learn happened under appalling circumstances and left Nat with some deeply troubling and unexplainable loose-ends.
Nat’s cobbled together investigation team consists of a couple of misfits seconded to help him from the Dresden office.
- DS Ann Collins – A prickly, brash and keenly analytic cop-from-the-streets, Collins is a marginally softer Lisbeth Salander (minus the tattoos and piercings), who may or may not be Nat’s true love.
- Deon Baxter – a cop in training, plucked from the streets – Deon is annoying incompetent, and a thorn in the side of DS Collins.
It was hard to imagine a more unprofessional police team in action – as the plot developed, the Dresden duos sarcasm, eye-rolling, and rancor rise to a level clearly above DI Thomas’s inexpert ability to lead or manage.
I won’t give the plot away (no spoilers here) but the murders come fast and furious, in circumstances that were so truly puzzling that my head was scratched seriously but I could not guess the ending.
The resolution, which came after many twists and turns, (and a few red herrings) was satisfying on many levels, and I enjoyed it tremendously, – along with the tantalizing cliffhanger dangled at the very end of the book.
The second book by this author featuring DI Thomas and DS Collins, I may just have to go back and read the first next, as it’s pretty clear I will be eagerly awaiting Book 3 in this series.
A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.
My stop today on the #Rachelsrandomthings #Blogtour for #Sophomania by #DanielleZinn