An experimental novel disguised as a thriller…It is a roller coaster, a helter skelter, a whole literary fairground…F Scott Fitzgerald said that the test of a first-rate intelligence was the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind and still be able to function. We might say the same for first-rate novels.
—John Self, The Guardian
When psychiatrist David Manne is asked by a police detective to consult on an unusual case, he finds himself in a seedy apartment on New York’s Lower East Side, evaluating a suspect who insists he’s not who the police say he is.
Unable to control his curiosity, David surreptitiously follows the case to an eerie uptown hospital staffed by military doctors returned from World War II. Is the man caught up in a top secret medical testing program? The closer David gets to finding out, the more dangerously entangled he becomes in an intricate game of conspiracy and mistaken identity—a deadly game that threatens to unmoor him from his memories, his sense of reality, his very life.
Written in relentlessly probing prose, with startling plot twists, The Reflection is a powerful psychological thriller that carries the weight of an instant modern classic.
Praise for The Reflection
“[A] haunting existential thriller…Compellingly readable…Rich and strange.” —The Literary Review
“Hitchcock meets Camus” is the unusually apt shoutline for this atmospheric exercise in retro literary noir, and Patricia Highsmith, Vladimir Nabokov, Miles Davis’s cool jazz and Mad Men’s Don Draper could be added to the list of influences or echoes… seductively ambiguous.” —The Sunday Times
“This exceptional psychological thriller will remind readers of the works of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell at their creepiest… For discerning suspense lovers.”
“A fine stylist, Wilcken captures a noirish, postwar New York.”
Praise for The Execution
“An exciting, nervy thriller that fulfills the demands of the genre while resonating on deeper frequencies.”—The New York Times Book Review
“While Camus’s specter looms large throughout The Execution, Wilcken ultimately pulls it off on his own with an engrossing, twisting narrative. His is an important new voice in philosophy wrapped up in literate storytelling.”—The Boston Globe
“A diabolical thriller that echoes the best suspense of Patricia Highsmith with a cheeky nod to Dostoyevski . . . This is a remarkably accomplished debut heralding the arrival of a noteworthy talent. Wilcken’s literary career may take as many fascinating twists as this brilliant book.”—Publishers Weekly
“In this stunning debut, Wilcken creates a beautifully written, intricately crafted, multilayered story that can be read as a psychological thriller, a commentary on the superficiality of modern life, an Everyman story, or a modern morality tale. On whatever level, the book is both moving and mesmerizing.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Nuanced, compelling, and fresh . . . an exceptionally well-done debut.”—Kirkus Reviews“Unnervingly cool prose . . . an entertainingly urbane thriller [whose] suspense lies not in the whodunit, but in watching a perfect life unravel.”—The Daily Telegraph