Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar (translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside)

Published by Blue Door Books

You can say you’re sorry.

You can say it a hundred times.

But to the dead it doesn’t mean very much.

ONE. TWO. THREE. That’s all it takes to drive the nail into her head, to leave her hanging on the wall. She deserved to die. Now all he needs is absolution for his sins, and he knows Just the people who can help.

If sorry seems to be the hardest word,

then let us say it for you

Kris, Tamara, Wolf and Frauke. Four friends with one big idea: an agency called Sorry. Unfair dismissals, the wrongly accused: everyone has a price, and Sorry will find out what it is. It’s as simple as that.

But they didn’t count on their next client being a killer.

Standing face to face with a brutally murdered woman, the philosophy that has brought them so much success sounds hollow. But who is the killer and why has he killed her? Someone is mocking them for playing God and hell is only just beginning.

This book has been taunting me for months, daring me to take it down from the shelf and open it. In many ways at time it made me think back to Clive Barker’s  ‘Mister B. Gone’, a book that dares you to enter and at times drags you in so deep that you fear you’ll not get back out again. This cast of characters have a superb scheme and, in these days of companies setting up to offer all manner of things that years ago would have seemed nonsense, the whole concept of their organisation seems remarkably plausible.

The injection of a killer as their next client and the hold he has over them, shown through photos of their loved ones, threatens their company, their sanity and their very existence. The multiple viewpoints adopted throughout the story works for the most part, despite tripping me up on more than a few occasions and causing me to lose my way.  However, the inclusion of ‘YOU’ as a character and reading your own viewpoint is a clever tool to ensure that those pages will keep turning as the reader joins the other four main cast members on their downward spiral which seems destined to destroy everything and everyone involved.

From its stark black on white (or white on black) cover versions through to its unusual and daring narrative, this is dark dark stuff and I make no apology for suggesting you seek it out. So go here and do so.

Keith

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