Category Archives: Romy Hausmann

Review: Sleepless by Romy Hausmann

Title: Sleepless by Romy Hausmann
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Dark secrets past and present collide in Sleepless, a haunting novel of guilt and retribution from Romy Hausmann, the international bestselling author of Dear Child.

It’s been years since Nadja Kulka was convicted of a cruel crime. After being released from prison, she’s wanted nothing more than to live a normal life: nice flat, steady job, even a few friends. But when one of those friends, Laura von Hoven–free-spirited beauty and wife of Nadja’s boss–kills her lover and begs Nadja for her help, Nadja can’t seem to refuse.

The two women make for a remote house in the woods, the perfect place to bury a body. But their plan quickly falls apart and Nadja finds herself outplayed, a pawn in a bizarre game in which she is both the perfect victim and the perfect murderer…


Sleepless by Romy Hausmann is a suspenseful mystery.

Nadja Kulka works for lawyer Gero von Hoven and was at one time good friends with his wife Laura. Nadja lives alone and suffers from extreme anxiety that she is working to overcome. While Gero is out of town, Laura unexpectedly shows up at the office asking for Nadja’s help. Unable to say no, Nadja soon finds herself embroiled in a shocking situation that quickly turns dangerous.

Interspersed with the current narrative is a case Gero worked on several years earlier. A young woman working at her family’s inn embarks on an affair with a married man. The relationship ends in tragedy and Gero eventually ends up defending the person accused of murder. This secondary story arc provides interesting insight into Gero’s character.

Short letters preface some of the chapters and these missives are a bit confusing yet interesting. These letters are brief snippets that offer a heartrending glimpse into a dysfunctional childhood that culminates in a stunning act of violence.

Sleepless is a dark mystery with a multilayered storyline. Nadja is sympathetic yet sometimes frustrating as she allows herself to be manipulated by people she trusts. The various story arcs are seemingly disparate but Romy Hausmann pulls the threads together as the mystery hurtles its way to a breathless conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Flatiron Books, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Romy Hausmann, Sleepless

Review: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Title: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A woman held captive finally escapes—but can she ever really get away?

Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning, #1 internationally bestselling thriller from one of Germany’s hottest new talents

A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare.

She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn’t their Lena.

The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn’t sharing, and Lena’s devastated father is trying to piece together details that don’t quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.

Twisty, suspenseful, and psychologically clever, Romy Hausmann’s Dear Child is a captivating thriller with all the ingredients of a breakout hit.


Dear Child by Romy Hausmann is an unnerving mystery set in Germany.

Lena Beck went missing thirteen years earlier and her father Mathias has never given up hoping she will be found. So when his old friend Chief Inspector Gerd Brühling calls to tell him a woman matching her description has been discovered, he and his wife Karin rush to the hospital. The woman was struck by a hit and run driver and she is in serious condition and unable to talk. It is her young daughter Hannah who identifies her as her mother, Lena, but the girl does not give up much information. 

Gerd’s hopes are soon dashed as he immediately realizes she is not his Lena. The police immediately begin searching the area where Lena was picked up by the ambulance. Finally locating a cabin nestled deep within the wood, they discover a shocking surprise. Hannah’s brother Jonathan is discovered along with an unrecognizable body that is presumed to be the children’s father and Lena’s kidnapper.  Who is the injured woman and is she the key to Mathias finding out what happened to his daughter?

Mathias is difficult to feel much empathy for as he bulldozes ahead regardless of the consequences. He is angry the police failed to find Lena although they lacked evidence or leads.  Mathias is equally furious at how the current investigation is unfolding. So, once again, he is again jeopardizing the case with his ill-thought out, impulsive decisions. How will he react if this current search for his daughter fails to yield results?

Hannah is a very smart girl and she seems well-adjusted in spite of her years of living within the confines of the windowless cabin.  She will answer questions up to a point, but she does not provide much information about her life with her parents.  Although she is now free, Hannah still adheres to the rules her father has instilled in her, Jonathan and their mother.

Lena is clearly traumatized and once released from the hospital, she remains locked inside a place she feels safe. She does not follow through with therapy and she is struggling to cope with her memories and fear. Lena is grateful her friend Kirsten shows up to take care of her but she continues to resist any efforts to get counseling or talk to the police.  What, if anything is behind Lena’s continued resistance to providing details that might lead to the identity of the kidnapper and give Matthias the answers he desperately needs?

Dear Child is a riveting mystery that seamlessly switches between Hannah, Mathias, and Lena’s points of view.  The storyline is well-developed and incredibly engrossing. The characters are interesting yet sometimes very frustrating as they hold their secrets close. With a jaw-dropping plot twist, Romy Hausmann brings this suspense-laden mystery to a stunning conclusion.  Highly recommend to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Dear Child, Flatiron Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Romy Hausmann, Suspense