cover image Sorry


Zoran Drvenkar, trans. from the German by Shaun Whiteside. Knopf, $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-307-27355-0

Drvenkar, who was born in Croatia but has lived in Germany since he was three, makes his adult debut in the U.S. with a challenging, insightful thriller. Three Berlin friends in their late 20s, once part of the same high school clique%E2%80%94Kris Marrer, Tamara Berger, Frauke Lewin%E2%80%94and Kris's two-years younger brother, Wolf, form a company, Sorry, which makes apologies for businesses that have erred in their treatment of employees. Then their paths cross with Lars Meybach, a sadistic killer, who hires them to apologize to his victims, despite their being dead, and clean up after him. Meybach threatens their families if they refuse. Drvenkar (Tell Me What You See and other YA novels) adroitly keeps the reader in the dark as he unravels a horrific story of child sexual abuse, savage revenge, and retribution. A series of shocking, clarifying resolutions clears up the confusion regarding who is a victim and who is a perpetrator. (Sept.)