Ghost, psychotherapy, snow storms, Italy, what more could entice me to read? The Eleventh Letter by Tom Tomaszewski is an inception like dive from 2010 to 1986, when the protagonist Chris revisits an old case that appears to have never stopped haunting him.
Chris Katiwa, a Harley Street psychotherapist, finds himself trapped in his office by heavy snow. When a beautiful, enigmatic woman asks to take shelter with him, he finds himself drawn to her charisma. Discovering tapes concerning a murder trial from the 1980s, Chris and his mysterious guest listen to voices from the past as the night draws in and darkness falls.
Chris begins to wonder if the woman he once tried to defend is as innocent as he had thought. Was she involved in the Pisa killings, or were they work of the savage serial killer that became known as the Wolfman? The Eleventh Letter is a ghostly, Lynchian tale that explores love and lies, murder and madness. GoodReads.
My first impression on reading this book was that it would make a brilliant film, especially in the way the novel first sets out the interviews with Louise. It’s mostly dialogue, and I had trouble remembering to read the rest of the text that indicated the tone or intonation of what the characters were saying.
However, the further the novel dives into the mystery or Louise, Kate and John. The more Chris’s retelling becomes mixed with the past, and you’re not entirely sure who is who and what memories is whom’s, or even what version of Chris (old or young) is in what element of the story.
The Eleventh Letter is a very clever book, well thought out and intricate, making memories into ghosts and ghosts into memories. It reminded me of Dickens, Poe, Kafka, Meredith Kercher’s murder, and poetry all at once. And that trauma has a way of finding it’s way out, no matter how hard you try and forget it.
The quality of writing didn’t always match the brilliance of what the author was saying. However, once you get into the swing of the novel you should find this irritation falls aside in favour of working out the ending, who is real and who is a ghost – and it’s well worth it for that.
Thank you to Dodo Ink who sent me this book in exchange for an honest review.