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Syndrome E by Franck Thilliez
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Syndrome E (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Franck Thilliez, Mark Polizzotti

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1481380,863 (3.82)7
Member:kathred1
Title:Syndrome E
Authors:Franck Thilliez
Other authors:Mark Polizzotti
Info:Audiobook wma format download
Collections:Your library
Rating:*1/2
Tags:checked out from LAPL - started to listen to, but didn't like it.

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Syndrome E: A Novel by Franck Thilliez (2012)

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English (10)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This is why I love LibraryThing. I got this book on sale somewhere and had no idea that it was part of a series, but now that I see that it is, it makes a lot more sense to me... Sharko did not feel like a 'new' character here, and I kinda wish I had read the back stories before this one!

That being said, I really enjoyed the tone (dark), the vigilante-feel, and the flawed characters in this book. The first part of the book is better than the latter (and final) parts of the book. The pacing changed from an un-folding story to a 'lecture-style' exposé. In fact, the resolution of the story is based on the description of events by several 3rd parties (who are added in at the last minute) rather than by the detectives discovering clues that lead to the resolution. And I think there are a few too many characters... some just popping in long enough to set the stage for the next scene, and then they disappear (or are killed) .

Originally, I hadn't realized that it was a translated book, but even that makes more sense now - some of the wording is, ahh... heavier ... than it would be in a North American written novel. And the settings and travel methods are definitely European.

I am actually going to go read the previous books in the series now... I really like Sharko as a main character - he is so different from the usual detective. ( )
  crazybatcow | Jul 3, 2014 |
Franck Thilliez has created a thrilling piece of work which grabbed my attention at the beginning but ultimately left me somewhat disappointed.

While we first spend a lot of time with one of the main characters, Franck Sharko, on his case, we are suddenly thrust into a tangled web of other cases that are supposed to join together. My problem here isn't that I didn't enjoy the different cases nor that following the cases was confusing, but that when all is said and done, everything was just a mishmash that didn't express itself well to me.

In fact, it was almost to the point of being absurd.

There is a minor character, Ludovic, who the story begins with and works off of; however, he is really not ever mentioned again in the book after his ordeal with going blind. I would have actually enjoyed reading more about his character--especially since it is he who kicks the story into gear.

The character of Lucie was thought out much more than Ludovic, but not near as much as Sharko, and I would have liked to have heard more about her--like her back story. The book references it many times, but I was frustrated when no details were ever really given.

The small romantic sub-plot between Lucie and Sharko could have been expanded upon, but it was nice to have even been included in the story.

Sharko's character was fascinating to me because of his schizophrenia diagnosis. I hate to say it, but there aren't many books I've read that feature a main character with schizophrenia without that said character being portrayed as insane. It was interesting in this case to read how the character of Sharko dealt with his schizophrenia and how it affected his career, his relationships, and just his mentality.
Having said all that, I detested what the author decided to do with Sharko's character. I know we want the best for people but...ah! I may have said too much already.

The dry humor of Sharko was fantastic and placed perfectly as if to relax tense muscles after being on edge for so long due to some particularly thrilling scenes. The dialogue with Sharko's character and others was intriguing as well as genuine. His words seemed exactly like something this character I had created in my head would say.

Because this book is translated, I figured I would find myself having at least some trouble with the way things were worded. But I really didn't. Everything was actually well-handled, and there were some real gems in the language.

One of my favorite lines from this book, for a few reasons, appears when describing a very minor character:
"A brilliant brain beneath a high forehead, smooth as a coated pill."
Smooth as a coated pill resonated with me because of the unusual comparison, but also because it made me think of Sharko as more realistic, being that he is supposedly thinking this, and we readers know by now of his inner fight with taking pills.

What was interesting with this book but also the reason I said so many ideas were tangled up, is that we learn about film and its history, we learn about neuroscience, we learn details about several cases... I think there was almost too much information to swallow.

I did have a major problem with how the book--as thrilling as I've mentioned it is--would be suspenseful and engaging and suddenly, flatline. The story would either become really quite boring or just hard to grasp what was going on (like I said, too many elements).

I was pretty disappointed in the end. Having traveled through this entire book wanting to desperately learn what Syndrome E is all about to only discover that when laid out, it sounds just tacky and ludicrous, left me flabbergasted. Even Sharko said it was far-fetched.

However, like several pieces of the story in Thilliez's book, Syndrome E is apparently real.
I know what you're thinking, because I'm thinking it too: Truth is stranger than fiction.

Syndrome E is listed as an upcoming movie title, as well! I can't wait to see what they do with this and how they adapt it to the screen. (I hope it's a little bit better.)

*Thanks NetGalley for this free copy.
  taletreader | Jun 18, 2014 |
Wow. Double Wow! This is how I would best describe this book. It definitely kept my attention. I could not stop reading this book. Some books are drugs as they are that addictive. I would have to say that Syndrome E is one of those books. It had the right about of creep, gore, and a well thought out and written mystery. I never could figure out the rhyme or reason behind it all until the reveal at the end.

At first I was not sure if I was going to like Sharko dispite his cool name. However he proved himself to me as a intelligent person with strength and personality. I may not have had this problem if I had read the first two books. Just saying as I would have gotten to know Sharko better. Lucie on the other hand I liked right away. I cared for her first as a mother and than second a detective. I could not help but instantly reference to the movie, The Ring with the creepy video tape that people watched of the girl crawling out of the well. This video had the same type of concept with the visural images. I would not want either fact to happen to me...death or blindness are not good choices in my book. I can not wait to read the next book in this series, Bred to Kill. I hope that it makes it debut in the US as well. ( )
  Cherylk | Apr 27, 2014 |
This novel started a little slow for me. Probably because not only were there quite a few different characters introduced within the first two or three chapters but the chapters also initially alternated between two protagonists and two different locations. Once I realized that Syndrome E is essentially two separate mysteries or crimes that eventually come together with a common relevance, it all made sense. I do like the way the author started his novel with these two crimes and two protagonists and then guides the reader to a central common point from which the two stories become one story. (Does that make sense?)

I haven’t read a translated novel in some time and Syndromoe E was definitely written for a French audience. This left me a bit discombobulated in a few places, like when the author describes a house as being “typically flemish”.

I did like Syndrome E. There were so many twists and turns that I stayed interested in the novel. I liked how the author takes us not only into the past but also to different continents. This was a well researched novel and I’m impressed with Franck Thilliez’s research skills. He had to research history, science, topography and more to properly write this novel. I love when a novel introduces me to history that I haven’t know of before and this novel did that in spades.

If you like thrillers and can handle a fair amount of scientific description in detail, then I would definitely recommend this book. It was interesting not only for the story line but also for the new knowledge that I have on visual imagery theories. I think this is Thilliez’s first novel to be translated into English. I’m hoping that more of his writing becomes available to us in English. ( )
  jsamaha | Mar 14, 2014 |
Don't take my 2 stars as a statement not to read this book. If you like mysteries, this one may well be for you, and if you like Criminal Minds. The characters were interesting, and the plot held my attention. Indeed, it was needing to know what was happening that kept me going. I just didn't enjoy it all that much. I ended up skimming the last of the book to get to the ending.

But, if you like mysteries, this was a well written book and you might want to give it a try. ( )
  ShannaRedwind | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067002578X, Hardcover)

The??classic procedural meets cutting edge science in this huge international bestseller

Already a runaway bestseller in France, Syndrome E tells the story of beleaguered detective Lucie Hennebelle, 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 readers 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 U.S. 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Lucie Henebelle, single mother and beleaguered detective, has just about enough on her plate with one daughter in the hospital and another off at summer camp when she receives a panicked call from an ex-lover. Lucie's old friend has developed a case of hysterical blindness after watching an obscure and mysterious 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 connected to the film starts turning up dead. Enlisting the help of Inspector Franck Sharko--a brooding, broken profiler for the Paris police who is exploring the film's connection to five murdered men unearthed at a construction site--Lucie begins to strip away layers of what is perhaps the most disturbing and powerful film ever made"--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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