The closer she gets to the truth, the faster it slips away.
Heike Lerner’s life looks perfect from the outside: she’s settled into an easy routine of caring for her young son, Daniel, and spends her days wandering the woods near their summer house, while her nights are filled with clinking glasses and charming conversation. It all helps to keep her mind at ease—or at least that’s what her husband, Eric, tells her. But lately, Heike’s noticed there are some things out of place: a mysterious cabin set back in the trees and a strange little girl who surfaces alone at the pond one day, then disappears—while at home Eric is becoming increasingly more controlling. Something sinister that Heike cannot quite put her finger on is lingering just beneath the surface of this idyllic life.
It’s possible Heike’s worries are all in her head, but when the unthinkable happens—Daniel vanishes while she and Eric are at a party one night—she can no longer deny that something is very wrong.
Desperate to find her son, Heike will try anything, but Eric insists on a calm that feels so cold she wonders if she can trust him at all.
Could Eric be involved in Daniel’s disappearance? Or has some darker thing taken him? The closer Heike gets to the truth, the faster it slips away. But she will not rest until she finds her son.
“The sharp and extraordinary quality of the novel comes from its taut pacing, precise detail, hallucinatory narration, and the metaphysical guessing game the reader is enticed into playing. . . . What is real? Who can we trust?”
“Hysteria is a powerful piece of fictional misdirection, of establishing readerly expectations and upending them, repeatedly, to tremendous effect. It is at once thought-provoking, tautly suspenseful and genuinely surprising.”
“…a fast-paced thrill ride with an intriguing premise and twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.”
“Hysteria is a creepy, at times terrifying, thrill ride—taut and smart, and totally unpredictable.”
“The story moves at a breakneck pace. . . . Hysteria not only provides the thrills of a suspenseful, disturbing read. On a deeper level, the novel highlights the manipulation, coercion, and abuse of women, that sadly, remains an urgent issue today.”
“In Hysteria, Elisabeth de Mariaffi has crafted an epic and haunting story that manages to be both rich in character and setting and breakneck in pace. You will find yourself thinking about it long after you’ve turned the last pages.”
“Hysteria is shout-out-from-the-rooftops good. It is unpredictable, laced with evil and mystery, and impossible to put down. A horrifying modern-day fairy tale, Hysteria is finely written, haunting in its construction, and compelling from the first page to the last.”