How will you die
Today you will die
Hannah was admitted to the exclusive psychological clinic "The Meadows" after a trauma. Within a short time, two patients take their own lives, but Hannah does not believe in suicide. She is convinced that a murderer is up to mischief in the old Georgian country house.
An old mansion, an institution for the mentally ill, two mysterious deaths and cloudy, cold London - these are ingredients that sound more than perfect for a creepy read. But although "Today you will die" by Tammy Cohen is labeled "psychological thriller", the tension unfortunately falls by the wayside in parts. The setting for a psychological thriller could hardly be more suitable. In view of the few patients who are treated in the clinic and the manageable workforce, the 400-page book almost looks like a classic "Whodunnit" in the style of old master Agatha Christie at the beginning.
More psychogram than psychological thriller
But the pleasantly short chapters, which are told alternately from the point of view of Hannah, her mother Corinne and the art therapist Laura, soon make it clear that this is primarily about the psychogram of a young woman who played pretty badly in her marriage has been. This is by no means unexciting, but neither is it the psychological thriller that one might actually suspect behind the melodious blurb.
Although the different narrative perspectives do not lead to boredom, that certain something is missing that gives this book the right thrill. The story contains moments that are good enough to hold your breath, but unfortunately that's not enough to keep the tension going.
Only in the course of the story do the individual fragments of the novel come together to form a whole. The past of some of the clinic employees in particular plays a major role in this. Hannah's mother Corinne brings it to the light of day with full commitment and an almost detective flair. Apart from this strong person, the other characters remain relatively faceless and contourless and appear arbitrary.
An old mansion in foggy London - pure atmosphere!
Tammy Cohen can write, no question about it. “Today you will die” reads fluently and is not stingy with a lively atmosphere. The foggy, barren winter landscape also gives the story a desolation that envelops the clinic patients anyway. This is also thanks to the successful translation by Bernd Stratthaus.
In her acknowledgment, the author reveals that she researched the subject of mental illness with the help of a specialist doctor. The patients in "The Meadows" all suffer from different diseases. In her novel, Tammy Cohen deals with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders, among other things.
All in all, “Today you will die” is not a bad book, but also not one that knocks you off your feet. So much more could have been gotten out of this story. In any case, this material had the best prerequisites for a really big hit. It's a shame, because Tammy Cohen has unfortunately given away a lot of potential!
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