A Black Coffee Book Tour: The Shadow of the Mole


About Shadow of the Mole

1916, Bois de Bolante, France. The battles in the trenches are raging fiercer than ever. In a deserted mineshaft, French sappeurs discover an unconscious man, and nickname him The Mole.
Claiming he has lost his memory, The Mole is convinced that he’s dead, and that an Other has taken his place. The military brass considers him a deserter, but front physician and psychiatrist-in-training Michel Denis suspects that his patient’s odd behavior is stemming from shellshock, and tries to save him from the firing squad.
The mystery deepens when The Mole begins to write a story in écriture automatique that takes place in Vienna, with Dr. Josef Breuer, Freud’s teacher, in the leading role. Traumatized by the recent loss of an arm, Denis becomes obsessed with him, and is prepared to do everything he can to unravel the patient’s secret.
Set against the staggering backdrop of the First World War, The Shadow Of The Mole is a thrilling tableau of loss, frustration, anger, madness, secrets and budding love. The most urgent question in this extraordinary story is: when, how, and why reality shifts into delusion?

Genre- Literary Fiction; historical fiction  Print length: 422 pages  Age range: This is an adult book         Trigger warnings: Realistic wartime violence and death

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Praise for Shadow of the Mole
Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Shadow Of The Mole by Bob Van Laerhoven is an intense and powerful blend of mystery and history(…)The novel has dramatic depths that it displays effectively. After all, war can change any man. You can’t help but feel anxious to learn The Mole’s true identity (…)Bob Van Laerhoven never misses the opportunity to flesh out his characters, to give you insight as to who they are. Psychology as a discipline plays an important part in the plot and Laerhoven effectively embeds it in your consciousness through appropriate references. The Shadow of the Mole is as enigmatic as it is powerful. It is written with skill in the way it weaves scientific analysis with the inner lives of its characters. It’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys a cerebral story with a great blend of mystery, history, and psychoanalysis.” Vincent Dublado – Readers’ Favorite–

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Shadow Of The Mole is exceptionally well penned by Bob Van Laerhoven. This book has many layers, like man trying to escape the truth, frustration, anguish, urge for death and life, guilt. All of this set up during the times of War…  I would not like to pen down every thing and would like the reader to read for themselves and enjoy this prodigious novel . This book definitely needs to be nominated for Nobel prize laureate awards. Amazon.in review

Rating: 5 out of 5.
It’s a wonderful story about love. loss, anger and secrets that are keeping people’s inner feelings in turmoil, so much so that it can turn people’s minds from clear reality towards troubled delusions when it comes to their actions and reactions towards life. All in all, it’s a very clever and intriguing novel where deception and reality go hand in hand, and where people’s minds are tested to their limits right till the end, especially when it comes to not identifying reality and starting to believe in imaginative delusions. Very much recommended, for this is a very interesting and exciting read, and that’s why I like to call this book: “A Captivating Shadow’s Secrets”! Amazon.co.uk review

About the Author

Bob van Laerhoven is a Belgian writer and traveller whose work has been translated into most European languages, as well as Russian and Chinese.

He made his debut as a novelist in 1985 with “Nachtspel – Night Game.” He quickly became known for his colorful, kaleidoscopic novels in which the fate of the individual is closely related to broad social transformations. His style slowly evolved in his later novels to embrace more personal themes while continuing to branch out into the world at large. International flair has become his trademark.

As a travel writer he has explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from the early 1990s to 2004. Echoes of his experiences on the road also trickle through in his novels. During the Bosnian war, Van Laerhoven spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later he was working for MSF – Doctors without frontiers – in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings.

All these experiences contribute to Bob Van Laerhoven’s rich and commendable oeuvre, as the versatile author of novels, travel stories, theatre pieces, biographies, non-fiction, letters, columns, articles…
His work has received many accolades.

The Hercule Poirot Prize for best crime-novel of the year with “De Wraak van Baudelaire – Baudelaire’s Revenge”
Also for Baudelaire’s Revenge, the USA BEST BOOK AWARD 2014 in the category Fiction: mystery/suspense.
“Dangerous Obsessions” was voted “best short story collection of 2015 in The San Diego Book Review.
“Heart Fever” was one of the five finalists – and the only non-American author – of the Silver Falchion Award 2018 in the category “short stories collections.”
“Return to Hiroshima”, was listed in the top ten of international crime novels in 2018 in the British quality review blog “MurderMayhem&More”
“Alejandro’s Lie” was named the best political thriller of 2021 by BestThrillers.com