Kaspar Traulhaine, Approximate

This is a fantastic and grotesque mystery from author Pablo D’Stair. The titular Traulhaine is a man on the run, haunted by guilt and hunted by forces he doesn’t understand. He’s recently committed a murder, and seemingly gotten away with it, until one day a strange man approaches and claims to have witnessed everything. In three days time, he’ll turn Kaspar over to the authorities.

Thus begins a series of mind-bending occurrences for Traulhaine, as he’s increasingly tormented by this stranger, an odd, slovenly man who may or may not be mentally deficient. Kaspar struggles with his options: to flee, to fight, to turn himself in, and with each minute that ticks by, his conscience and guilt slowly devour him.

As the end approaches, time seems to become more fluid, each minute a longer agony than the one prior. Regret hammers Kaspar like torrential rain, and the ending comes in a most unexpected fashion.

D’Stair does a fine job playing inside of the sandbox of Kaspar’s brain. The story led me on a bizarre adventure that had me questioning the nature of reality and the reliability of the narrator, but never losing the thread of the story, the intense and growing dread, the impending doom. A tight and tense mental thriller that I’d highly recommend!

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