Blinded is a refined psychological thriller. In fluent prose, Patricia Snel offers the reader a bloodcurdling story. It leaves you wondering only one thing – how is this going to end?
Sophie Dercksen has a beautiful home, great friends and is engaged to an up-and-coming lawyer. However, a flirtation with the new tennis club owner turns her life upside down. His humour, charm and easy self-confidence make Ben Spaans irresistible and he quickly wins Sophie over.
Now Sophie is leading a double life. On the one hand, her days are filled with wedding planning and arrangements, but secretly she throws herself into an extravagant life of passion, drugs and adventure with Ben, neglecting her friends and fiancé more and more. Only when things get worse does she see how isolated she has become and the danger she is in.
‘Patricia Snel is the new star on the Dutch literary thriller scene. With her book Blinded she places herself alongside such beloved authors as Saskia Noort and Simone van der Vlugt. ... Patricia Snel’s astonishing debut.’ […] ‘She is the new star on the Dutch literary thriller horizon.' ECI
‘Excellent novel. Blinded provided new insights, even for me.’ Gerlof Leistra, crime reporter Elsevier and crime expert for radio and television
‘The power of Blinded lies in the poignant analysis of human relationships, the weaknesses and strengths of the mind, the irresistible desire for passion. This Hamburger principle, wrong but oh-so-good, has been perfectly executed in Blinded, making it a brilliant book about relationships... Perfection. A delicious book.’ Crimezone.nl
‘With Blinded, Patricia Snel has written a deliciously readable debut (…) She knows how to raise the tension to the right levels, exactly when it’s needed. A must for any beach bag!’ Metro
‘Snel writes well – her tone is cheerful and she has a good eye for detail. She keeps a lively pace and knows how to keep her readers on their toes.’ Dagblad van het Noorden
‘Patricia Snel’s debut is a delightfully naughty and sensual thriller with just the right mix of tension, sex and intellect. With Blinded, she has written a tough but intimate story that on the one hand gives us insight into the world of cannabis farming and trade, and on the other, tells us about the complex psyche of a woman... ’ - Trendystyle.net
‘Debut novel a huge success.’ Telegraaf
‘Let me tell you a few things. The most important rules.’ His tone was milder. He bent down and picked up the little phone that had been thrown in the trash bin. I took a seat in the swivel chair in front of his desk, crossing my arms like a schoolgirl. The wall was covered with a giant map of the world, which hung in a large six-by-three-foot walnut frame. ‘Rule number one.’ Ben counted on his thumb. ‘It will be incredibly tempting, but you cannot tell anyone. Not even your best friend, or your family, nobody.’ I nodded in understanding. ‘Because,’ he continued, ‘you often trust friends with things about yourself. But if you get into an argument, what you tell them can be used against you. Believe me when I say that keeping silent is the hardest part, especially when things are going well, because you're tempted to tell someone. But envy can be fatal and people are jealous, especially your “closest” friends.’
‘Well, this is something you simply cannot explain to friends,’ I agreed. With his elbow resting on the leather table top, Ben extended his index finger, continuing to count, ‘Rule number two: beware of the people who are in the business themselves. Now and then you’ll come along with me or run an errand. Don’t reveal even the smallest details of your involvement, how long you’ve been doing it,or where. A grower’s biggest fear is to be ripped or betrayed. This often happens by people they know. Or when someone’s in trouble – even the biggest criminals will talk to save their own skin.’ Ben looked at me intently.
‘What does “ripped” mean?’ I asked.
‘Gangs raid your house and hastily rip out all your plants, leaving a huge mess: open doors, lights on, and a horrible smell,’ he explained. When Ben told a story, he used his whole body. He pinched his nose, opened invisible doors, raised his eyebrows. ‘That smell will be noticed by neighbours, passers-by or patrolling police and that’s you done, your plantation, your hobby. You’re lucky with your apartment. It’s in a good location, a corner house above a flower shop. However, loads of these guys,’ he said, and pointed to himself, ‘have hangars. Empty, rented spaces where rippers can do what they want. Those gangs are very professional and organised. They break in without making a sound and know how to get around every safety measure and alarm the grower has put in place. But of course nobody will report them to the police.
Revenge takes place inside the community. Rippers are no sweethearts, I can tell you that.’ Ben stretched out his legs, his arms behind his head. ‘This feels like a lecture: “Weed: a peek behind the scenes.”’ I grinned. Ben came round from behind his desk, grabbed my shoulders and turned the chair toward him.
‘Finally, rule number three: if you are taken in by the police, exercise your right of silence. Or your duty to silence, however you want to look at it.’ He tilted his head to one side. ‘Do not answer their questions. Do not react to accusations, no details, nothing. Never.’ He wagged his finger in my face. ‘It will only be used against you and it won’t help you one bit, trust me. They can’t touch you if you don’t say anything. Everything you let slip gives those dumb fucks something more to use against you. Leave the explanation and mitigating circumstances to a lawyer, they have much more experience with those things than you.’ He smiled and stroked my wet hair. ‘Coffee?’