Deathly Silence – Chronicle of a Killer

Deathly Silence invites comparisons with Patrick Süskind’s Perfume but stands alone as a compelling and provocatively macabre read. 

Karl Heidemann is born with hyper-sensitive hearing. Even before his premature birth, Karl is overwhelmed by the painful cacophony of sounds around him. During his first involuntary excursion outside the soundproofed cellar where he spends his early childhood, Karl witnesses his mother’s suicide. Instead of being traumatised, the young boy experiences a reassuring and exhilarating sense of peace in the silence that emanates from death. This early discovery piques Karl’s private fascination with the act of dying, which he at first explores through despatching sick and maimed animals. Eventually – and inevitably – Karl becomes a murderer, drowning two people he holds responsible for driving his mother to the grave. 

What follows is a path of self-exile and roaming on the fringes of society until the mass murderer finds a kind of home within the walls of a monastery. But monkhood only warps Karl’s relationship to death further until he finally seeks peace in his own death rather than continuing to visit it upon others.

  • ‘An exhilarating read, a virtuoso literary composition.’
    – Österreich

Thomas Raab was born in 1970 and lives in Vienna with his family. He studied mathematics and physical education and now works as a writer, composer, and musician. He has been nominated for and won numerous literary and musical prizes, most recently Buchliebling 2011 and the 2013 Leo Perutz Prize. His crime novels featuring art restorer Willibald Adrian Metzger are among Austria’s most popular and are being adapted for film.

Previous works include:
The Metzger series

Translation rights sold to:
Poland (Albatros); Spain (Roca)

Translation rights available from:
Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur
Contact: Kerstin Schuster
Tel: +49 89 9271 279

For information on publisher Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur please contact NBG.

Applications for adult fiction or children’s books should be made to the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture in good time before the book goes to print.

For further information, please see our page on translation funding.