Alter Ego

Esther Verhoef’s books have sold almost three million copies, making her one of the most successful writers in the Netherlands. Her thriller 'Alter Ego' is widely considered her strongest book to date.

Esther Verhoef
Original title
Alter Ego

After a difficult childhood in a dysfunctional family, things finally seem to be going well for Lynn. She is married to Camiel Storm, a celebrity chef twenty years her senior with a thriving television career, and she does the PR for his Michelin-starred restaurant. To the outside world they look like a real power couple. But appearances are deceptive — while Camiel cooks up the most incredible food every night, Lynn, who is often alone and unhappy, embarks on a passionate but destructive affair with young, temperamental Laurens.

Ambitious plans to expand the restaurant put even more pressure on Lynn and Camiel’s marriage. And to make matters worse, Camiel’s ex-wife, who still retains a share in the company, won’t leave them alone. Suddenly inexplicable things start happening. A prowler circles Lynn and Camiel’s villa and Lynn receives terrifying threats. Who is targeting the couple?

The story moves back and forth between this nerve-wracking present and flashbacks to Lynn’s childhood, when she would lie in bed at night petrified as her alcoholic father abused her mother. This experience permanently scarred her. As her own life gets more and more stressful, she too starts drinking more; sometimes she’s no longer sure what is real and what isn’t. Is she losing her hold on reality?

Alter Ego is a hair-raising thriller with complex, well-drawn characters. The reader is constantly wrongfooted — there are surprising plot twists all the way to the very last page, making this a classic page-turner and Verhoef’s strongest book to date.

‘'Alter Ego' is Verhoef’s best book to date. Marvelously written, with layered characters and a more-than-convincing plot that manages to surprise you till the very last line.’

Vrij Nederland Thrillergids
Esther Verhoef
Esther Verhoef (b. 1968) is one of the Netherlands’ most successful and versatile authors. No other writer of thriller fiction has received and been nominated for as many prizes. Her psychological thrillers and novels have sold almost three million copies in the Netherlands. She also writes under the pseudonym Nova Lee Maier.
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