Gottlieb’s days aren’t exactly brimming with passion. As a hospice nurse he’s confronted every day with death, and the level of romance in his private life is hovering somewhere around zero. Desperate with loneliness, one night he calls a phone sex line. He hears Marie’s voice for the first time – and instantly everything changes. Instead of having phone sex, Marie and Gottlieb start to chat. It turns into an intense conversation, and because it’s completely anonymous they both start eagerly lying through their teeth. Together they fabricate a love story, one that, minute by minute, is increasingly becoming their own … Crime-writing star Bernhard Aichner has written a story full of big emotions, humour and tension: seductive as Brünhilde Blum, soft as cashmere.
A man calls a phone sex line. A woman picks up. Two lonely people meet on the phone. Slowly and cautiously they begin to talk. At first they lie, playing a part for each other, but gradually they start to build trust. Both are longing for a different life, driving them inevitably into each other’s open arms … Gottlieb is a nurse at a hospice. He’s single, and until recently was living with his mother, who was terminally ill. Gottlieb cared for her until her death. Death entirely overshadows Gottlieb’s life, which is devoid of love and passion until the night he’s driven by despair and loneliness to call a phone sex line. At the other end is Marie, but instead of having phone sex they chat. From the first moment, they share a connection: the protective veil of anonymity, the secrets they hide, the hair-raising stories they concoct together. Gottlieb lies, and so does Marie. They lie their heads off, fabricating their own world and inventing a love story. One that, minute by minute, is increasingly becoming their own …
Bernhard Aichner, born in 1972, is a writer and photographer living in Innsbruck. He writes novels, radio plays and pieces for theatre. His work has received numerous literary prizes and grants, most recently the Burgdorf Crime-Writing Prize 2014 and the Crime Cologne Award 2015. The thrillers in his WOMAN OF THE DEAD trilogy spent months on the bestseller lists in Austria and Germany. Rights have been sold to sixteen territories so far, including the USA and England. An American film version is currently in progress. His thriller BADLAND (2018) was his next success. Haymon have also published other novels by Aichner, including SNOW IS COMING (2014), THE BARE ESSENTIALS OF HAPPINESS (2015) and ONLY BLUE (HAYMONtb 2015) as well as his Max Broll series of crime novels, the most recent of which was awarded the Friedrich Glauser Prize. www.bernhard-aichner.at