Willem Asman

The Cassandra Paradox

The Netherlands’ Stephen King

Willem Asman has emerged as The Netherlands’ Stephen King, an author whom Asman greatly admires and whom he has adopted as his role model, even to the point of absorbing his handbook On Writing and following King’s directions to his advantage. The result is a grand story that takes us in several directions, from an Indian temple in the Andes to the international power struggle following the 9/11 attacks.

The central theme of The Cassandra Paradox is the human dilemma of acting with good intentions, the results of which are totally unpredictable.

The book’s main characters achieve the opposite of the good they intended. Asman writes about a real CIA study into clairvoyance and esp as potential tools in the struggle against communism. The research ended when the iron curtain fell. ‘The abilities of the human mind are as incredible as they are horrifying. Imagine a medium for browsing another’s thoughts. The idea that somebody can not only “read? somebody else’s deepest feelings, but can also manipulate them is both magical and very scary,’ Asman explains.

The fast action and flowing dialogue make this book quite a page-turner. The Cassandra Paradox is a promising debut by a new Dutch talent.

Jury Report

In his debut The Cassandra Paradox, Willem Asman introduces parapsychologist Jonathan Harl, who is in the public eye due to his research on apparently irrational but very successful decisions. The project’s present sponsor is about to stop financing while at the same time a scientist makes discoveries in an underground pyramid in Ecuador that may lead to a scientific breakthrough. Asman drags us into present-day world politics as well as into the interior of Ecuador, where the Indians have not forgotten how the Spaniards imposed their foreign culture in 1526. This is an ambitious, intelligent, and exciting thriller.

Exciting, smart, and subversive.

Het Parool

A rich book.

NRC Handelsblad

An asset for the thriller market.


A powerful, original, and exciting debut in which science and power are weighed against friendship and loyalty.

BN De stem

Willem Asman

Willem Asman (b. 1959) studied law in Amsterdam. He’s previously published the thrillers The Cassandra Paradox (2006), Brittanica (2009), Wonderman’s Endgame (2009) and Queen’s Day (2010). In 2018 his novel Enter was awarded the Gouden Strop, the most important Dutch crime novel award.…

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De Cassandra Paradox (2006). Fiction, 480 pages.

Themes: crime


De Bezige Bij

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NL - 1071 DW Amsterdam
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Fax: +31 20 305 98 24

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