The 18th Variation

John van den Berg

Boekemakranka; April 2016

318 pages

Categories: , ,


The 18th Variation is primarily a memoir about love lost and found. The memories of the narrator are often evocative, and the line between love and hate is hard to pin down. In addition the brutal death of a girl in a small village clouds the lives of the characters. It seems so simple at first: the author is doing research about a painter who disappeared a decade ago – presumably after murdering the girl whose portrait he’d painted – but doubts eventually arise whether the artist had really been guilty. If not, the village where the tragedy occurred might still harbour her unidentified killer. And the possible motives are often ambiguous. The strength of the author, other than the realism of his writing, is the controlled complexity and psychological depth of the plot. The denouement is unexpected and the story hard to forget.

Hard copies can be ordered directly from the author, at

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