Praise for Esther Verhoef

‘Verhoef always manages to find the right tone, taking evil, temptation and struggle, as well as vulnerability, repentance and various forms of love, and making them tangible.‘ – DE VOLKSKRANT

‘Bestselling author Esther Verhoef continues to push her boundaries.’ – TROUW

‘Verhoef remains the benchmark for the genre.’ – BOEK

    Books by Esther Verhoef

  • Indian Summer

    Esther Verhoef

    | Fiction | This book has 459 pages

    June 2017

    * English sample translation + synopsis *


    Fashion designer Vivian D is at the peak of her career. Her business is flourishing and she’s highly regarded in the fashion industry. However, just before she has to walk down the red carpet at a major event in Paris, she receives shocking news: her family business is being taken over by a property tycoon with big plans for her label. This forces her to think about the turbulent path her life has taken, and her choice to devote herself to her own talent, instead of looking after her young family.

    In her characteristic, captivating style, Esther Verhoef describes how young Claudia grows up in a world where she doesn’t belong, and how she becomes the successful Vivian D. What sacrifices did Claudia make, and which choices does Vivian now face?

    Verhoef takes us on a journey from a working-class neighbourhood in the 1980s via a studio on the river IJ in Amsterdam to the world of high fashion in Paris and New York.

    Press on Indian Summer:
    ‘A dazzling novel. Indian Summer provides an astonishing peek behind the scenes of high fashion.’ – Zin

    ‘An authentic glimpse into the industry and the life of a fashion designer.’ – Textilia 

    ‘Indian Summer is an engaging novel about artistry and choices, ambition and offers, and the influence of the outside world.’ – AD MAGAZINE

    ‘This book is unputdownable and there’s no doubt it will be another hit. Verhoef again succeeds in bringing her characters to life.’ – Noordhollands Dagblad

    ‘The writer evokes an image of the times (the eighties) that really hits the spot, with white sport socks, perms and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Her convincing portrait of the ins and outs of the fashion world reveals a good dose of research.’ – HP de Tijd

    ‘Verhoef’s portrayal of life in the working-class neighbourhoods of the south, and the character of the eighties is just right. Indian Summer is bound to be a bestseller this summer.’ – Sir Edmund Addendum Volkskrant 

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  • Close to the Cradle

    Esther Verhoef

    | Fiction | This book has 320 pages

    February 2014

    ∗ full English & German translation ∗

    Rights sold: btb (Germany), Turbine (Denmark), Ab Ovo (Hungary), Bookplaza (South-Korea)

    OVER 150.000 COPIES SOLD

    When Didi is confined to her bed after the difficult birth of her first child, she is delighted with the help of the maternity nurse. The baby is cute and healthy, but Didi’s recovery is slow.

    Miriam, who works for the Rotterdam police force, cannot get over the sudden death of her brother. She suspects foul play on the part of his beautiful widow Hennequin. When she delves into Hennequin’s past, Miriam becomes convinced that she is dealing with a dangerous psychopath. And it is precisely this woman who is making herself indispensable to the young, vulnerable family…

    Close to the Cradle describes 10 critical days in the life of three young women. Vulnerability, will power and bloodlust find each other in a dark, poignant page-turner: Esther Verhoef’s scariest thriller to date.

    Press on Close to the Cradle:

    The storylines are ingeniously combined. Verhoef tells the story effectively, with tantalizing cliff-hangers.’ – NRC Handelsblad

    ‘Close to the Cradle is a genuine pageturner with a masterful final plot twist.’ – de Volkskrant

    ‘Dark drama full of nail-biting suspense.’ – ***** Algemeen Dagblad

    ‘Superlatively dark.’ – Dagblad de Limburger

    ‘Shockingly suspenseful.’ – BOEK

    ‘OMG, she is the maternity nurse from hell! The spine-chilling new Esther Verhoef.’ – Glamour

    ‘Does it matter what her new book is about? Not really. You buy and devour every Esther Verhoef thriller without even reading the back flap.’ – Marie Claire


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  • Backlight

    Esther Verhoef

    | Fiction | This book has 563 pages

    April 2012

    ∗ English brochure ∗ English sample translation ∗ full German translation *

    Rights sold: btb (Germany)

    Vera Zagt does not have an easy childhood. Her father, a former soldier, maintains a strict regime at home, her mother is in a psychiatric clinic and young Vera is brutally bullied at school.
    As an adult Vera’s self-image is still damaged, but when her marriage begins to crumble she panics and embarks on an affair. In a series of events Vera loses grip on her carefully constructed life. Will her fear become reality, has she inherited her mother’s illness, will she too fall into insanity? With all the walls around her breaking down, she gets help from an unexpected corner. Can she learn to trust, and accept the hand that is offered?
    In short, haunting chapters, best-selling Dutch author Esther Verhoef takes us on a journey into Vera’s difficult childhood, interspersed with chapters in which we follow the adult Vera as she moves in exorably towards her fate.

    Press on Backlight:

    ‘Best-selling author Esther Verhoef keeps expanding her horizons.’ – Trouw

    ‘Esther Verhoef is clearly part of our country’s literary elite.’ – Algemeen Dagblad

    ‘A new Verhoef is always good news and it looks like she is getting better and better. Here is another excellent piece of cleverly structured suspense, astute psychology and crystal-clear narrative style.’ – Linda.

    ‘Verhoef always hits the right note as she conveys evil, temptation and confrontation, as well as vulnerability, introversion and love in its many guises.’ – de Volkskrant

    Backlight is the gripping story of a woman trying to escape her troubled childhood. Utterly compelling and with a narrative arc that’s reminiscent of a thriller.’ – JAN

    ‘With Backlight Esther Verhoef proves that she does not just write good thrillers. Her descriptions of helplessness, temptation and resilience are painfully accurate. A touching novel.’ – VIVA

    ‘After her successful thrillers Esther Verhoef has now written a very incisive psychological novel.’ – RED

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  • Rendezvous

    Esther Verhoef

    | Fiction | This book has 334 pages


    ∗ full English & German translation ∗

    Rights sold to: Endemol (TV-film rights), Quercus (UK), btb (Germany), Mir Knigi (Russia)

    Who doesn’t dream of moving to the South of France where the climate is milder, people more easy going, the landscape more sumptuous, nature ever present and the general mood merrier?

    Meet Simone, a 34 year old woman who takes the step to start a new life in the South of France. Together with her husband and two children she buys a tumble-down country house to renovate, live in it and rent part of it as chambres d’hôtes. Reality catches up on their dreams. Where do you find good labor in a strange village where you can’t even find the bakery? How do you soothe your children who had to leave all their friends behind and haven’t yet mastered the new language? How do you maintain an exciting relationship with your husband when the stress of the renovation starts taking a toll? As the work in and around the house picks up, Simone, tired of always adjusting her own life to that of her husband, finds refuge in a passionate affair with the attractive twenty year old Michel. But she slowly starts losing control over her once so well organized life. To make matters worse Peter, the contractor, starts playing a harrowing power game after he catches Simone and Michel in the act and demands hush money. Simone is overcome with doubt and despair. Whom can she trust? Is Michel as trustworthy as he seems? Should she confess the affair to her husband after all? It gradually becomes obvious that Simone stands alone with nobody to fall back on. And then she is suddenly arrested by the police and imprisoned.

    Press on Rendezvous:

    ‘Extremely compelling.’ – Elle

    ‘You will read Rendezvous almost in one breath.’ – BOEK

    ‘A surprising dénouement.’ – Opzij

    Rendezvous is a very intelligent thriller. A nightmare version of the television show No going back. Nailbitingly exciting!’ – Veronica Magazine

    ‘Madame Bovary revisited for washed out women (and men) who dream in silence of a Secret Love and a New Life.’ – HP/de Tijd

    Rendezvous is just very well written, with an enjoyable style, a page turner you can’t put down before you’ve finished it.’ –

    ‘Verhoef builds up the tension from the very start of this attractive book. She succeeds in turning the story round brilliantly. The action scenes are also the best asset of this book. Very fitting to her genre switch: instead of burning hot firearms, the most important props are now glowing body parts.’ – NRC Handelsblad

    ‘From beginning to the end very suspenseful.’ – Sis

    ‘A credible and very strong story.’ – Biblion

    ‘Verhoef very impressively keeps stimulating your curiosity by interrupting the narrative with short chapters in which Simone is in a prison cell.’ – Jan

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  • Déjà Vu

    Esther Verhoef

    | Fiction | This book has 318 pages

    September 2010

    ∗ English sample translation + synopsis ∗ full German translation ∗

    Rights sold: btb (Germany)


    When 27-year-old Eva Lambregts loses her job as a newspaper journalist she decides to cry on the shoulder of her best friend Dianne who has been living in an isolated hamlet in France for the past six months. However when Eva arrives she finds the house deserted. She is confident it won’t be long till her friend gets in touch and moves in. But Dianne gives no sign of life.

    Strange things happen in the village. Who creeps through the woods around the house at night, and why are the villagers so hostile? Eva wants to know what has happened to Dianne and investigates. But this is a bad idea.


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  • Close-up

    Esther Verhoef

    | Fiction | This book has 340 pages

    April 2007

    ∗ full English, German & French translation ∗

    Rights sold: btb (Germany), Quercus (UK), Mir Knigi (Russia), Circulo de lectores (Spain), Politiken (Denmark), Presses de la Cité (France)

    Margot Heijne has just been through a nasty divorce from John. She tries to sort her life out and give her confidence a boost. Her life gains dangerous momentum when she meets Leon Wagner, an intriguing and dominant artist with an unusual circle of friends, who gains an awful lot of influence over her… Then Margot discovers that Leon’s previous girlfriend drowned in his bath… Suicide? Close-up is a dark thriller which repeatedly sets you on the wrong track, about chasing dreams and setting boundaries.

    Press on Close-up:

    ‘[L]ittle by little, Verhoef manages to lead us away from the path we thought we were following and constructs an intriguing morality tale.’ – Mail on Sunday

    ‘Like Alvtegen, Verhoef is a novelist capable of delineating characters that transcend the standard thriller stereotypes, and her Margot makes an endearing heroine. […] Sadly, “Close-Up” is the only Verhoef novel published by Felony & Mayhem […].’ – Barnes & Noble Review

    ‘Verhoef’s narrative from the dark unnamed one perfectly depicts a control freak that is a serial killer in the making. […] The tension builds and is maintained effectively by Verhoef throughout. […] The pace of the plot is top gear, with the surrounding atmosphere on reading very dark. […] With Close-Up we have another winner thriller from the Dutch in Esther Verhoef. More soon, please. I said earlier this year that I was “going Dutch”. They can grip you in a vice, these Netherlanders… It’s a crime! (Or a mystery…)’  – Salon

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  • Dear Mama

    Esther Verhoef

    | Fiction | This book has 339 pages

    You think you know your limits. But if your family is in danger… how far would you go?

    OVER 175.000 COPIES SOLD



    With Dear Mama, Esther Verhoef brings the danger uncomfortably close and leaves the reader with the question: What would I do?

    ‘Well written, excellent characters, and a fantastic plot.’ – ***** AD

    ‘Esther Verhoef is a master of carefully devised plots, and she deserves an award for the final pages alone. But cleverest of all is the way she depicts her characters.’ – **** KNACK

    ‘Dear Mama is one of Verhoef’s best books. Smoothly written and brilliantly plotted, with an excellent buildup of tension.’ – **** VN THRILLERGIDS

    ‘Esther Verhoef clearly belongs to the writing elite in our country.’ – ALGEMEEN DAGBLAD

    ‘If you can keep your reviewer’s adrenaline pumping deep into the night, that is craftsmanship.’ – VOLKSKRANT

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