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The Reflection
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Melville House 2015
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Hugo Wilcken's first novel, The Execution--a taut, psychological mystery about an average person who commits an accidental murder--got the kind of rave reviews authors dream of: He was compared to Camus and Hitchcock.Now, in his second novel, The Reflection, the comparisons seem even more appropriate: It's a smart, creepy, steadily absorbing mystery about an average law-abiding citizen who finds himself inexplicably caught up in a case of mistaken identities--with one of his own patients.When psychiatrist David Manne is asked by a friend who's a New York City Police detective to consult on an unusual case, he finds himself being asked to evaluate a criminal who's the exact opposite of himself--an uneducated laborer from the Midwest who seems overwhelmed by modern day Manhattan circa 1948. But when that laborer tells David that he's not who the police say he is, David slowly begins to believe it may be trueUnable to stop himself, David begins to look into how the police handle the man, and the hospital they take him to . . . and begins to suspect that the man is caught up in some kind of secret governmental medical testing. Realizing he's got to rescue his patient, David quickly finds himself battling forces that seem to be even bigger than he suspected, and that now have him in their sights. When he suddenly finds himself caught with a patient's i.d. papers on him, he decides on a risky course that seems his only way out: To change his identity, and enter even deeper into the conspiracy, if he's to find out how to escape it.Written in relentlessly probing prose with a delicious plot complication seemingly on every page, this is one of the most thought-provoking, chilling, and suspenseful novels you'll ever read.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/01/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781612194509
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Hugo Wilcken. (2015). The Reflection. Melville House.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Hugo Wilcken. 2015. The Reflection. Melville House.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Hugo Wilcken, The Reflection. Melville House, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Hugo Wilcken. The Reflection. Melville House, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: HUGO WILCKEN is the author of the novel The Execution, and the nonfiction book David Bowie's Low, part of the 33 1/3 series. Both books were critically acclaimed in both the US and the UK. After residing for many years in Paris, he now divides his time between London and Sydney.
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shortDescription
Hugo Wilcken's first novel, The Execution--a taut, psychological mystery about an average person who commits an accidental murder--got the kind of rave reviews authors dream of: He was compared to Camus and Hitchcock.

Now, in his second novel, The Reflection, the comparisons seem even more appropriate: It's a smart, creepy, steadily absorbing mystery about an average law-abiding citizen who finds himself inexplicably caught up in a case of mistaken identities--with one of his own patients.

When psychiatrist David Manne is asked by a friend who's a New York City Police detective to consult on an unusual case, he finds himself being asked to evaluate a criminal who's the exact opposite of himself--an uneducated laborer from the Midwest who seems overwhelmed by modern day Manhattan circa 1948. But when that laborer tells David that he's not who the police say he is, David slowly begins to believe it may be true

Unable to stop himself, David begins...
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
The Reflection
fullDescription
Hugo Wilcken's first novel, The Execution--a taut, psychological mystery about an average person who commits an accidental murder--got the kind of rave reviews authors dream of: He was compared to Camus and Hitchcock.

Now, in his second novel, The Reflection, the comparisons seem even more appropriate: It's a smart, creepy, steadily absorbing mystery about an average law-abiding citizen who finds himself inexplicably caught up in a case of mistaken identities--with one of his own patients.

When psychiatrist David Manne is asked by a friend who's a New York City Police detective to consult on an unusual case, he finds himself being asked to evaluate a criminal who's the exact opposite of himself--an uneducated laborer from the Midwest who seems overwhelmed by modern day Manhattan circa 1948. But when that laborer tells David that he's not who the police say he is, David slowly begins to believe it may be true

Unable to stop himself, David begins to look into how the police handle the man, and the hospital they take him to . . . and begins to suspect that the man is caught up in some kind of secret governmental medical testing. Realizing he's got to rescue his patient, David quickly finds himself battling forces that seem to be even bigger than he suspected, and that now have him in their sights.

When he suddenly finds himself caught with a patient's i.d. papers on him, he decides on a risky course that seems his only way out: To change his identity, and enter even deeper into the conspiracy, if he's to find out how to escape it.

Written in relentlessly probing prose with a delicious plot complication seemingly on every page, this is one of the most thought-provoking, chilling, and suspenseful novels you'll ever read.
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Daily Telegraph
      • content: Praise for The Execution "An exciting, nervy thriller that fulfills the demands of the genre while resonating on deeper frequencies." --The New York Times Book Review "While Camus's specter looms large throughout The Execution, Wilcken ultimately pulls it off on his own with an engrossing, twisting narrative. His is an important new voice in philosophy wrapped up in literate storytelling." --The Boston Globe "A diabolical thriller that echoes the best suspense of Patricia Highsmith with a cheeky nod to Dostoyevski . . . This is a remarkably accomplished debut heralding the arrival of a noteworthy talent. Wilcken's literary career may take as many fascinating twists as this brilliant book." --Publishers Weekly "In this stunning debut, Wilcken creates a beautifully written, intricately crafted, multilayered story that can be read as a psychological thriller, a commentary on the superficiality of modern life, an Everyman story, or a modern morality tale. On whatever level, the book is both moving and mesmerizing." --Booklist (starred review) "Nuanced, compelling, and fresh . . . an exceptionally well-done debut." --Kirkus Reviews "Unnervingly cool prose . . . an entertainingly urbane thriller [whose] suspense lies not in the whodunit, but in watching a perfect life unravel."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 13, 2015
        Set in New York City in 1949, this well-written but unsatisfying novel from Wilcken (The Execution) tells the story of psychiatrist David Manne, who commits an apparently violent man, Peter Esterhazy, to the Stevens Institute, a Manhattan mental hospital. When the patient later persuades Manne that his real name is Smith and he’s being held against his will, Manne smuggles Esterhazy/Smith out of the institute and takes the man back to Manne’s own apartment. A day later, while Esterhazy/Smith is alone in the apartment, Manne is pushed (or does he jump?) onto the subway tracks and suffers serious head injuries. When Manne is pegged as “Stephen Smith” (he has Esterhazy/Smith’s ID in his pocket), he must convince his doctor of his true identity. A fine stylist, Wilcken captures a noirish, postwar New York, but the surreal story—more mysterious than a mystery—never compels enough interest to make the reader accept the bizarre premise or care about its consequences.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2015
        A psychiatrist takes a case that threatens his very identity in this tricky thriller. David Manne is a shrink in postwar Manhattan who consults on various police cases. Called to a downtown tenement to evaluate a distraught man, he finds a harried but lucid fellow who insists he's not the person the woman claiming to be his wife, as well as the police, says he is. Manne, bored with his predictable practice and predictable single life, decides to follow up and stumbles into a situation where, as they say, things are not what they seem. Up to this point, Wilcken (The Execution, 2002) has built a unique portrait of '40s New York. Instead of the rush of urban life that's the usual image of the city, he emphasizes the solitary. The people on the streets and the newspaper hawkers Wilcken describes fall away next to the feeling of being alone in a crowd. Wilcken recasts automats and movie theaters and diners as peculiarly noirish palaces of isolation. Which is what makes it all the more disappointing when Manne winds up in the same condition as his patient, at the mercy of people insisting he's someone else. Wilcken is trying for the mix of absurdity and hallucinatory threat John Franklin Bardin achieved in his 1946 classic The Deadly Percheron, but the novel's intrigue peters away into sub-Kafkaesque trickery. Wilcken's novel starts out both welcoming and sinister. Sadly, the identity crisis it most compellingly describes is its own.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2015

        Psychiatrist David Manne's life feels like no life at all: day after day, he cycles back and forth between his bare apartment and his posh office, ending the day listening to the same scratchy records, always Beethoven. Then things begin to happen. He suspects he's being followed. There's a policeman in his office but nobody let him in. The policeman wants Manne to write a commitment order for another officer who's threatened his wife with violence. But the other cop insists he's not who they say he is and claims the woman isn't his wife at all. Manne writes the order anyway: the accused is sent off to an institution with a cloudy history. Manne investigates. Anomalies keep surfacing. Then Manne himself is injured, almost killed, while carrying the other man's wallet in his pocket. He's committed to the same place because he won't admit he's the other man, not himself. To get out he has to pretend he's not himself. VERDICT This exceptional psychological thriller will remind readers of the works of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell at their creepiest. Wilcken (The Execution) has written a jittery novel of alternative truths, none at all comforting. For discerning suspense lovers.--David Keymer, Modesto, CA

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2015
        David Manne, hero and narrator of this glum thriller, is a psychiatrist in 1940s New York. Outwardly a success, he knows what a flop he really is. His wife cuckolded him, the clinical journals reject his articles, he has no faith in his profession, where patients rarely got better and often got worse. But now people he barely knows ask his help at a crime scene. The moment he turns up he spots something wrong. These aren't victims; they're actors who have been posed. An identity mix-up has him trading places with the accused, and he must live out the other man's life to get at what's happened. The layers of mystification that follow are, well, mystifying, and readers may lack the patience to plod through the slow unraveling. The author has been compared to Camus, but it's movies that come to mind. Hitchcock did the actress bit in Vertigo, and the reflection of the title was explored in the Roger Moore vehicle The Man Who Haunted Himself. Recommended for readers who love a psychological puzzle within the crime plot.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

popularity
18
publisher
Melville House
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