Author: Petra Hammesfahr
On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a man to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to stab a complete stranger in the throat over and over again, in full view of her family and friends? For the local police, it’s an open-and-shut case. Cora quickly confesses and there’s no shortage of witnesses, but those questions remain unanswered. Haunted by the case, the police commissioner refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into a woman’s private hell. A dark, spellbinding novel, where the truth is to be questioned at every turn.
About the Author
Hailed as Germany’s Patricia Highsmith, Petra Hammesfahr has written more than twenty crime and suspense novels, and also writes scripts for film and television. She has won numerous literary prizes, including the Crime Prize of Wiesbaden and the Rhineland Literary Prize. Her breakthrough novel, The Sinner, was a major critical and commercial success internationally, including in Germany, where it stayed on the bestseller list for more than fifteen months. The Sinner has been adapted for television as a limited series on USA starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman.
I decided to purchase this book after being completely enamored with the limited series on USA. It was an amazing show, if you haven’t watched it, go binge those 8 episodes -you won’t regret it!!
As for the book, it is equally amazing. It does follow the show fairly closely but we do see a lot more of the abuse that Cora has gone through as she grew up and the way she came to be. I feel like the show was more about someone else inquiring into Cora’s actions that day on the beach, but the book explains to us how Cora was raised and really answers everything amazingly well. The show did too and I honestly can’t compare them as far as quality goes.
Normally, a show is either better or worse than the book, and while I would love to say that the show was better simply because the English wasn’t the greatest for the book as it was translated from German, the story itself is equally as compelling and forces you to keep turning the page. If you love one you will love the other.
I am looking forward to reading other books by Hammesfahr that are translated to English.
On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a complete stranger to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to commit such a startling act of violence in front of her family and friends?
Cora quickly confesses and it seems like an open-and-shut case. But the police commissioner, haunted by these unaswered questions, refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into the depths of her own psyche and the violent secrets buried within. The Sinner is a dark, spell spellbinding novel, where the truth is to be questioned at every turn.
“As I read [the novel], I kept going, ‘I know where this is going—there’s no way this could be interesting.’ And then it would just take a completely different direction.” —Jessica Biel
“The Sinner is unnerving and weird and guaranteed to stick with you weeks later.” —Sarah Weinman, editor of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives and Women Crime Writers
“Hauntingly insightful and sensitive.” —The Guardian