Bob van Laerhoven – Heart Fever

Heart Fever was my first introduction to the Belgian/Flemish author Van Laerhoven. Five bizarre short stories, each with a unique setting, ranging from a follower of the Syrian president Bashar-al-Assad who acts and sounds just like any other group or self-proclaimed caliphate killing in the name of Allah to Johnny di Machio who seeks sexual healing in Poona, India. There’s a Belgian travel-writer suffering from the madness of the Kosovo-war, a retired London tube driver seeking revenge for killings in Croatia.

Van Laerhoven put an overdose of F-words and other bad languages in his narratives. At times I recognize the Dutch grammar and sentence structures that obviously were translated into English later. Don’t expect beautifully-written full sentences or in-depth conversations. The stories are fast-paced, dialogues short and sharp.

About the author

Bob Van Laerhoven: a fulltime Belgian/Flemish author, Laerhoven published more than 35 books in Holland and Belgium. Some of his literary work is published in French, English, Italian, and Russian. Three times finalist of the Hercule Poirot Prize for best mystery novel of the year with the novels Djinn, The Finger of God, and Return to Hiroshima. Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Baudelaire’s Revenge, which also won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “mystery/suspense.” His collection of short stories Dangerous Obsessions, first published by The Anaphora Literary Press in 2015, was hailed as “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review. Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish translations of Dangerous Obsessions will appear in 2018.

I received a free review copy from the publisher Anaphora Literary Press through Librarything‘s Early Reviewer’s Program.