Bob Van Laerhoven

Laerhoven - Cover - 9781681140872-Perfect - 18

Dangerous Obsessions: ($15, 74pp, 6X9″, LCCN: 2015904377, Print ISBN: 978-1-681140-87-2, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-107-7, EBook ISBN: 978-1-681140-88-9, April 2015; Purchase print version on Barnes & Noble or Amazon; buy the Kindle for $2.99): Tight, taut and shocking, these stories all have warped love as the source of violence. Belgian/Flemish author, Bob Van Laerhoven, winner of the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “Mystery/Suspense” and the Hercule Poirot Prize with his controversial novel, Baudelaire’s Revenge, connects the fate of individuals with profound social changes. Van Laerhoven has been a travel writer in conflict-zones from 1990 until 2003 and echos of his experiences trickle through these confronting and thrilling tales, set in civil war-torn Algeria in the fifties, in a gypsy-populated Nazi-German concentration camp in occupied Poland during WWII, in a Peruvian border-town where stealing is a deadly art, in Liberia during the civil war in the nineties, and in Belgian Congo during the bloody uproar in the sixties. Omnia vincit amor—Love conquers allthe saying goes. But not our Dangerous Obsessions.

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Baudelaire’s Revenge: Месть Бодлера: (Russian Translation; $20: Softcover: ISBN: 978-1-68114-308-8; $35: Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-309-5; $2.99: EBook ISBN: 978-1-68114-310-1; LCCN: 2017934587; Noir/ International Mystery & Crime; Release: April 5, 2017; Translated by Larisa Biyuts; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): “A decadent tale.  Commissioner Lefèvre’s philosophical discussions with artists and poets and a creepy Belgian dwarf are fascinating.” —The New York Times Book Review

It is 1870, and Paris is in turmoil. As the social and political turbulence of the Franco-Prussian War roils the city, workers starve to death while aristocrats seek refuge in orgies and séances. The Parisians are trapped like rats in their beautiful city, when a series of gruesome murders captures their fascination and distracts them from the realities of war. The killer leaves lines from the recently deceased Charles Baudelaire’s controversial anthology Les Fleurs du Mal on each corpse, written in the poet’s exact handwriting. Commissioner Lefevre, a lover of poetry and a veteran of the Algerian war, is on the case, and his investigation is a thrilling, intoxicating journey into the sinister side of human nature, bringing to mind the brooding and tense atmosphere of Patrick Susskind’s Perfume. Did Baudelaire rise from the grave? Did he truly die in the first place? The plot dramatically extends as far as the court of the Emperor Napoleon III.

1870 год. Париж в смятении. По мере того как социально-политический хаос франко-прусской войны будоражит город, рабочие умирают от голода в то время как аристократы ищут забвения в оргиях и спиритических сеансах. В своем прекрасном городе парижане оказались как крысы в ловушке, однако, серия жутких убийств захватывает их воображение и отвлекает их от реалий войны. На каждом трупе убийца оставляет стихи из скандально известного сборника «Цветы зла» недавно умершего поэта Шарля Бодлера, причем стихи написаны почерком самого автора. Это дело ведет комиссар Лефевр, любитель поэзии и ветеран алжирской войны, и его расследование явилось захватывающим путешествием в мир темной стороны человеческой натуры, воскрешающим в памяти напряженную атмосферу медленно надвигающейся опасности в книге «Парфюмер» Патрика Зюскинда. Мог ли Бодлер подняться из могилы? Умер ли он на самом деле? Драматическая сюжетная линия ведет ко двору императора Наполеона III.

Этот яркий, интеллектуальный и динамичный исторический криминальный роман предлагает целый ряд шокирующих откровений о нравах сексуальной жизни в 19 веке во Франции. Это превосходный детектив, который освещает теневую сторону жизни одного из величайших имен мировой поэзии. Премия Эркюля Пуаро за лучший детективный роман 2007 года и награда за лучшую книгу 2014 года в США в категории детектив и саспенс.

Бельгийский автор Боб Ван Лэрховен дебютировал в 1977 году как автор коротких рассказов, а в 1985 году в качестве литературного романиста. Более тридцати пяти романов последовали. Во время Боснийской войны, он находился в осажденном Сараево, а в 1995 году он прокрался в Тузла, когда прибыли беженцы из мусульманского анклава Сребреница. Его беседы с ними привели в книге свидетельство массовых убийств. Месть Бодлера выиграл ему Hercule Poirot Prize за лучший роман в Бельгии и США Best Book Award (2014).

Stories translated by the author, Josh Pachter and Brian Doyle.

Laerhoven - Cover - Heart - 9781681143910-Perfect - Edited

Heart Fever: (Softcover: $15, 114pp, 6X9”: ISBN: 978-1-68114-391-0; Hardcover: $30: ISBN: 978-1-68114-392-7; EBook: $2.99: ISBN: 978-1-68114-393-4; LCCN: 2017914844; Fiction—Mystery & Detective—Short Stories; Release: January 5, 2018; Purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble): After his much-acclaimed short story collection Dangerous Obsessions, which had war as a common background, Belgian/Flemish author Van Laerhoven surprises again with five stories that shed piercing light on our most self-destructive impulses. A steroid-spiked Syrian mercenary of Bashar-al-Assad is determined to become a “martyr,” after the loss of his right arm by “friendly fire.” A retired London tube-driver becomes obsessed by his desire to revenge the vicious killing of his parents in Croatia on his half-nephew. A Belgian travel-writer gets entangled in the madness of the Kosovo-war during the nineties and witnesses its dramatic consequences many years later in New York. A jaded art brut painter in Brussels betrays his best friend, a Rwandese art forger, to the Mafia, opening the door to guilt, lust, and murder. A born liar with the nickname Johnny di Machio seeks in the seventies, in Poona, India, salvation in Bhagwan’s ashram for his sexual problems, but gets trapped in a maze of long hidden violence.

Aldous Huxley wrote in Brave New World (1932): “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly— they’ll go through anything.” This is precisely what Van Laerhoven does, relentlessly exposing our inner solitude and voracious egos. Heart Fever goes way beyond heartache.

“Not recommended for a read on public transport unless you don’t mind crying in public.” Sarah Jackson in 2016 Book Reviews

“Each story is a lot more than just a tale; they are all profound studies of the human soul.” —David Ben Efraim in Quick Book Reviews

“Van Laerhoven writes about the cold and the cruel aspects of human nature with unflinching truth.” Hubert O’ Hearn in The 2015 Books of the Year: San Diego Book Review

Bob Van Laerhoven: a fulltime Belgian/Flemish author, Laerhoven published more than 35 books in Holland and Belgium. Some of his literary work is published in French, English, Italian, and Russian. Three times finalist of the Hercule Poirot Prize for best mystery novel of the year with the novels Djinn, The Finger of God, and Return to Hiroshima. Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Baudelaire’s Revenge, which also won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “mystery/suspense.” His collection of short stories Dangerous Obsessions, first published by The Anaphora Literary Press in 2015, was hailed as “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review. Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish translations of Dangerous Obsessions will appear in 2018.

Reviews of Dangerous Obsessions:

The 2015 Books of the Year! Short Fiction: “This was very nearly the last book I reviewed this year before making this column’s selections. Of the dozen or so stand-out individual short story collections I enjoyed in 2015, the Belgian author Bob Van Laerhoven’s was the standy-outiest. There are only five stories in this hardcover, but then again a filet mignon is a lot smaller than a meat loaf and given your choice of fine beef, which would you pick? (I suppose for vegan readers there must be some similar comparison available involving lentils and watermelons, but dammit I’m a reviewer not a metaphor generator.) Van Laerhoven’s stories always surprise without descending into the cheap thrills of fakery and he uses his journalistic experience to write about the cold and the cruel aspects of human nature with unflinching truth. Previous to reading Dangerous Obsessions the only author I have ever compared positively to my old favourite is Canada’s Dan Vyleta. Now there are two.” —Hubert O’Hearn, San Diego Book Review

“All things considered, Dangerous Obsessions is a different kind of book from what you’d expect to find amongst today’s vampires and werewolves; it is a philosophical exploration of the human condition, a confrontation with the darkest corners of our minds. I highly recommend this moving and gripping collection of stories to anyone seeking to be moved by something truly thought-provoking.” Quick Book Reviews, David Ben Efraim,

“***** The Belgian/Flemish writer Bob Van Laerhoven’s collection of powerful, often graphic short stories is a refreshing read. My favourite has to be the third – Lillies of the Valley, a tale of one young gypsy woman’s survival at all costs in a Nazi concentration camp during World War Two. What most people forget is that the camps weren’t only for the extermination of European Jews. Many other groups like the gypsies suffered the same fate, like the Jews, deemed to be subhuman by Adolf Hitler and his henchmen. I would recommend reading this collection to any one who likes a story well told.” —Jack Eason, The Seventh Age, Amazon 

Book of the Week: “**** This collection of short stories presents personal accounts of people amid the horrors of World War II. In each story the author presents an intimate view of a person thrust into an emotionally charged situation and forced to navigate their war-torn circumstances. The narrator draws a complete picture of the culture, personal history, dreams and failures faced…situations rich in color, setting and emotion. Readers won’t be able to keep their distance as they follow each person’s fight to survive their specific ordeal.” Patricia Gitt, BooksGoSocial Book Review Club

****…a collection short stories about obsessive love (and lust) in unhappy times (war, conflict, threat, for example). It is powerful, captivating and challenging. This collection is not for those who are easily upset. It is a relatively short books, well-written, easy to read and will have you wanting to complete the book in one sitting. Some pieces are translated into English but lose nothing in the translation. Not recommended for a read on public transport unless you don’t mind crying in public.” —Sarah Jackson Writer, “Book Reviews – 2016,” LibraryThing Early Review

“I really liked the book. I would like to read more books written by Bob Van Laerhoven in the future. I recommend it to anyone who likes short, dramatic and down to the earth crime/ mystery stories. I definitely give to the book 4 out of 4 stars.” —Castor, OnlineBookClub.org

Media:

Interview with Great Indie Authors: http://kevs-domain.net/2015/06/26/kai-presents-bob-van-laerhoven

Interview with FireYourMentor: http://fireyourmentor.com/interview-with-bob-van-laerhoven/

Dangerous Obsessions featured on the list of “2015 – Best Books Read so far”: https://islandeditions.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/2015-best-books-read-so-far/#comment-6992

Podcast reading by its translator, Josh Pachter, of one of the stories in Dangerous Obsessions, “Checkmate in Chimbote,” in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: http://eqmm.podomatic.com/entry/2015-06-01T06_42_32-07_00

3D Parisian Room for Bob Van Laerhoven’s books: http://inkflash.com/BobVanLaerhoven

Laerhoven’s BingBing room: http://www.thebingbing.com/bobvanlaerhoven

Blog Interviews:

TheBigThrill

FireYourMentor

ReadingRecommendation

TheStoryReadingApeBlog

Invitation

AfriColonialStories

TheOwlLadyBlog

Editorial Reviews of Van Laerhoven’s novel, Baudelaire’s Revenge (Pegasus Books):

“A decadent tale… Commissioner Lefèvre’s philosophical discussions with artists and poets and a creepy Belgian dwarf are fascinating…” —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review, Sunday crime column

“Van Laerhoven vividly and astutely evokes a city under siege and keenly portrays the complex and controversial Baudelaire…” —Donna Seaman, Booklink

“[An] intense historical crime thriller. The intricate plot, menacing atmosphere, and rich evocations of period Paris have undeniable power.” —Publishers Weekly 

“Van Laerhoven packs much complexity into 256 pages, giving this historical mystery the heft of a far longer work… The flowers of evil, sketched in lurid botanical detail…” —Kirkus Reviews 

“…The novel also functions as a superb historical tale of an embattled city, as Napoleon III’s France finds itself at war not only with Prussia but also with subversive elements in Paris itself… The flamboyantly lurid tone is hugely entertaining…” —Declan Burke, The Irish Times

“Mystery aficionados will love this pastiche of Wilkie Collins and Edgar Allan Poe…” —David Keymer, Library Journal 

“This complex mystery from an award-winning Belgian author joins history and literary history to create a sly, smart revenge tale.” —Tom Lavoie, Shelf Awareness Pro

“Riveting, fascinating and “very French” mystery… Van Laerhoven’s prose is rich and perceptive, filled with philosophical and metaphysical speculations… This is a terrific mystery…” —Sam Coale, Providence Journal

“…It is a journey worth taking to the heart of a strange, death-obsessed place where a dead poet still dwells in his writing…” —William Martin, Washington Independent Review of Books

“Beautifully written and deftly translated, Baudelaire’s Revenge mixes the mystery of the crime novel with the sophistication of a philosophical treatise…” —Historical Novel Society

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