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Syndrome E (Franck Sharko #3)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  2,265 Ratings  ·  399 Reviews
What You Don’t See Could Kill You

In this international bestseller, which is soon to be a major motion picture penned by the screenwriter of Black Swan, the classic procedural meets cutting-edge science

Lucie Henebelle, single mother and beleaguered detective, has just about enough on her plate when she receives a panicked phone call from an ex-lover who has developed a rare
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published August 16th 2012 by Viking (first published 2010)
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Amy Marie Le Roi Bred To Kill is the next one. It's quite interesting; it briefly picks up right where Syndrome E ended then fast forwards a full year. The crime is…moreBred To Kill is the next one. It's quite interesting; it briefly picks up right where Syndrome E ended then fast forwards a full year. The crime is quite different from the one in Syndrome E, but is just as interesting. You see how the relationship between Lucie and Franck has changed since the ending of Syndrome E; and it changes again through out the course of Bred to Kill. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Holger Selover-Stephan You can find out, in the second book, "Bred to Kill"!

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rebecca McNutt
This novel takes all the nostalgia of old film and creatively transforms it into something both horrific and scientific; translated from French, Syndrome E is a brilliantly-written, intelligent and intriguing little thriller with vibrant imagery and complex, film-noir-like characters. Lucie, Ludovic, Claude, Sharko and the other characters seemed complex and real. I highly recommend this book, it's definitely worth reading!
Jul 05, 2012 Valentina rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating book, full of mystery and horror, and even some romance.
The idea of a movie that can affect its viewer is a good one. Like The Ring, anyone who watches it is deeply affected, if not killed within seven days, but what makes it scary and even more interesting is that there is no supernatural element to the story. It’s all based on things that could really happen. I don’t want to give too much away, but it really is a terrifying look into what we allow to enter our brains thr
Aug 24, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
An obscure film with horrible embedded images is tentatively linked to the recent discovery of five mutilated corpses at a construction site. The detectives covering each case team up to uncover the connection between the two. What they find is a cover-up that spans decades, countries and governments.

This is a fast-paced eerie thriller, with a neuroscience basis that Michael Crichton would have loved. The characters are well-developed and unique, and had me turning the pages to see what would ha
Sep 22, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-frança, e4
Gostei mesmo muito da forma como Franck Thilliez - utilizando factos históricos, ilustrativos do lado mais negro do ser humano; o conceito cientifico de mensagens subliminares e as técnicas e magia do cinema - constrói uma história assustadora e empolgante.
Gostei muito do comissário Sharko, esquizofrénico e esmagado pelo desgosto.
Gostei de Lucie, dividida entre o amor pela família e a paixão pelo trabalho.
Gostei mais ou menos do estilo de escrita. Alguns diálogos e descrições pareceram-me um po
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

When a rare film buff, Ludovic Sénéchal, sees an ad for a bunch of old films for sale, he’s ecstatic and can’t believe his luck. He finds one film that’s unmarked that particularly piques his interest, and it’s the first thing he watches as soon as he gets his stash home. He never could have imagined what would come after watching the movie, however, and ends up calling the first person he could hit on speed dial: his ex, Lucie Henebelle, a cop with an inq
Aug 07, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Cross-posted to:

This book has been on my radar since it was optioned for film several months ago, and the ironic thing is, now that I’ve read it, it’s become obvious that the film version will probably be too gory for me to see. Think sawed-off skulls, gouged-out eyes and oh, throw in some animal torture. But hey, in book form, that stuff isn’t too bad. Much like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, this European mystery thriller is an intense and scary pag
Holly McIntyre
Jan 16, 2013 Holly McIntyre rated it liked it
Da Vinci Code goes Cold War. I found the premise (could watching a film really make someone blind, change their brain?) interesting enough to want to read the book, but difficult to grasp throughout. I kept wanting someone to stop and explain "Syndrome E" in a way I could really grasp. By the end, I still couldn't understand exactly what was being proposed. Along the way, I found the characters interesting, especially Lucie (not so much Franck whom I found more odd than interesting.) The part wh ...more
Ângela Costa
Jan 24, 2015 Ângela Costa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ADOREI!!!!!!! Melhor livro de 2015! eheheheh também foi o único! :D
Maria João Fernandes
Sep 22, 2012 Maria João Fernandes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites
"Tudo começou a partir dos coelhos e das crianças."

FRANÇA, Lille:
Ludovic Sénéchal é um fanático do cinema e, como tal, é um apaixonado irreversível por filmes antigos. É a sua paixão pelo grande ecrã que faz com que um anúncio no jornal - sobre a venda de clássicos de cinema - lhe capte atenção. Esta oportunidade única surge com a morte de um coleccionador belga, cujo filho decide vender os seus pertences. É então conduzido até um filme anónimo de 1955, que se encontra a 200k de si. Entusiasmad
Aug 03, 2012 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Matthews
Aug 20, 2012 Mark Matthews rated it it was amazing
A vintage movie connoisseur answers an ad and buys some rare movies, and after watching the clip, goes blind. Thus begins Syndrome E, and the novel explodes from this point, tracing the effects on a single persons Eyes to other areas of the world. Subliminal messages of horror are slowly revealed in the clip, and strange deaths where the eyes have been removed, the skulls sawed open, and the bodies buried to hide decomposition are connected to the movie clip.

Yes, larger world implications begin
Luke Taylor
Jan 25, 2016 Luke Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hall-of-fame
Syndrome E captured the complexity of an incredibly technical and scientific premise with the intelligence missing from many thrillers attempting to move at too quick of a pace. Laced with atmospheric touches at all times, Syndrome E knocks the ball out of the park for me with the unnerving realism and scope of its horrific endgame. For those who like a mystery within a mystery, Syndrome E never feels pedantic and its action sequences are suspenseful due to the fact that the investigative proces ...more
Linda Strong
Jan 26, 2016 Linda Strong rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I did not like this book. It was difficult for me to follow... not sure if that's because of the story itself or the translation. Some things were good .. but mostly it asked me to believe things that just can't happen. I was really disappointed. There is a sequel .... BRED TO KILL ... that I have, but I doubt I will read that one.
Sep 28, 2013 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Franck Thilliez constrói de uma forma surpreendente um livro magnifico...
Um thriller com um argumento elaborado, minucioso nas descrições e ligações entre as diferentes temáticas, metódico na análise e na evolução das complexas investigações criminais em busca de explicações científicas para o poder da imagem no controlo da mente e dos comportamentos humanos.
Um crescendo de suspense, com reflexões brilhantes sobre a violência...
João Carlos
A história começa com a apresentação de um facto estranho, Ludovic Sénéchal perde completamente a visão depois de visionar um estranho filme de 1955, comprado a um coleccionador falecido recentemente. De uma forma completamente aleatória acaba por pedir ajuda à sua ex-amante a tenente polícia Lucie Henebelle, solitária, mãe solteira de duas gémeas e que se encontra de férias.
Quase a duzentos quilómetros de distância são descobertos cinco corpos com os crânios serrados, enterrados em profundidade
Mar 21, 2014 Leslee rated it liked it
Shelves: prime-time-crime
This book has had an insurgence of interest because it's recently been optioned by none other than : Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream fame, though my introduction to the book came by way of a review of Night Film, Marisha Pessl's foray into the world of dark films and the obsessions they inspire.

I loved Pessl's book, but merely enjoyed Syndrome E. Though I do believe it handled the film aspect of the plot a lot better than Pessl did, this novel had a lot of handicaps that
Christine Van Heertum
Le commissaire Sharko, en congé forcé pour soigner ses crises de schizophrénie, est appelé sur le lieu d'une découverte macabre: 5 corps mutilés sont retrouvés au fond d'un trou, les mains manquent, le crâne a été scié. L'enquête s'annonce difficile.
Plus au nord, à Lille, le lieutenant Lucie Henebelle se rend au chevet de son ex, devenu aveugle après avoir visionné un court métrage au contenu malsain. Un vieil homme, ami de l'ex-fiancé et restaurateur d'anciens films est assassiné dans d'étrange
Dec 12, 2012 Traci rated it really liked it
One of the best things about the Goodreads First Reads contests is winning books that you've never really heard of by authors you're not familiar with. This book certainly fits the bill, as it wasn't on my radar before entering the contest, and I certainly hadn't read anything by the author before now.

What's weird is that I know I read the description for this book, and yet, when I won this copy, I still had the wrong impression as to what it was about. I think it's the whole movie = spontaneous
John Brooke
Jan 22, 2013 John Brooke rated it really liked it
Thilliez has produced several award winning thrillers. As far as I can ascertain, this is the first in English translation. I enjoyed it immensely, because: I have a soft spot for French cops. Part of the story plays out in Montreal. It has some of the most beautiful descriptions of Cairo I’ve ever read…

Yes, the story covers a lot of ground. And time – an interesting and scary premise dovetailing with the CIA approved, if not funded, LSD mind control experiments conducted here (Mtl) in the 50’s
Jul 25, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers, police procedurals and film buffs
Recommended to Kimberly by: goodreads giveaway
Shelves: favorites
Actually 4 1/2 stars.

This review is based on reading an advance uncorrected proof of this book that I received through a giveaway here on Goodreads.

"With this taut U.S. debut, Thilliez explores the origins of violence through radical science in a breakneck and erotically charged thriller rich with shocking plot twists and profound questions about the nature of humanity." - from the book description on back cover.

That's a fair summary of this story that grabbed me from the get-go. Once I started
Oct 07, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars. It started with an explosive beginning and it truly had me hooked. I felt it was going to be something very different from what I had read before with very interesting premise and this continued for about 80% of the book and then at the end it just went flat. I really felt that the author just didn't know how he wanted it to end or that he didn't have another 150 pages available to be able to give it an even better ending.

I would certainly recommend it
Apr 27, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Double Wow! This is how I would best describe this book. It definitely kept my attention. I could not stop reading this book. Some books are drugs as they are that addictive. I would have to say that Syndrome E is one of those books. It had the right about of creep, gore, and a well thought out and written mystery. I never could figure out the rhyme or reason behind it all until the reveal at the end.

At first I was not sure if I was going to like Sharko dispite his cool name. However he pr
Jessica Lynn
Just a quick, little review of this one.

I picked this book up in a $3 bin at my local grocery store along with several others because the premise seemed promising, and who can turn down a book for $3?!

I struggled to delve into the story straight from the beginning and I kept thinking that, although interesting things were happening, the writing was very monotonous and made the subject matter seem less thrilling. Just after the halfway point, the story did pick up for me, but it was already too
Nancy Burns
Aug 08, 2015 Nancy Burns rated it it was amazing
Shelves: french
Suspense, intriguing ideas about film, eyes and optics.
Franck Thilliez has humanized the story with the interaction between male and female inspectors without diluting the rational crime fiction genre.
Very well done!

Here is my review:
Nelson Garcia
La historia no está mal, pero en ocasiones llega a aburrir. A medida que se va desarrollando la investigación surgen pistas que luego tienen poca o ninguna relevancia, y son tantas que la historia se vuelve un poco caótica y compleja de entrelazar. Por otra parte, los personajes están llenos de clichés: el comisario que ha perdido a su familia de manera trágica, la oficial que es madre soltera, rubia y muy guapa, etc. El final es bastante predecible para quienes leemos este tipo de novela con fr ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Sandie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A man in France watches an old film he purchased from an estate and goes blind. Hospitalized, he contacts a former girlfriend who is a police inspector, Lucie Henebelle. Lucie is on leave at the moment so takes on an investigation of the film. It's an older film from 1955, and it is disquieting with shocking images. However, she doesn't see what could have caused her friend's blindness until she has the film analyzed and finds it contains subliminal images that are so horrific that anyone viewin ...more
May 25, 2013 Ric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This will be the 3rd version of this review. At first I loved the book, then I hated it, and now I neither love or hate it. In my defense, the book did wax and wane. I was looking for the resolution of the titular Syndrome E, and the author --- ostensibly a popular one in France, although this appears to be his only book translated into English and made into an audio book --- withheld everything until the last chapter. That was cheeky! But it kept me reading, and my feelings about the book swing

Jul 22, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
I won this book through Goodreads and am very happy to have been the winner! It reminds me a bit of old-style science/speculative fiction. I think I've found a new author to read. M. Thilliez wrote a taut, science based book that had me finishing it in one day, despite the fact that it is summer here and the weather is lovely. I enjoyed his two main characters, both a little different from the normal run of police procedurals, but eminently likeable. There were a few tropes near the end of the n ...more
My Inner Shelf
Encore un polar haut de gamme ! Thilliez ne m’a pas encore déçue, même s’il me manque 2 titres de l’auteur (Deuil de miel et Train d’enfer pour ange rouge).
Comme d’habitude, on plonge dans un roman parfaitement maîtrisé, rien n’est laissé au hasard et le contexte scientifique est encore une fois très documenté. Tout repose sur des faits et des événements réels, seule l’intrigue est une pure fiction, mais basée sur une réalité encore plus effrayante.
On retrouve à la fois Henebelle et Sharko, chac
Rich Rosell
Jan 23, 2013 Rich Rosell rated it really liked it
Apparently Thilliez is a big deal in Europe, and this is his first work released in the U.S., a twisty thriller with enough plot points for three books. Based on this one: sign me up for more, Franck.

Yet another writer that I came across this by accident at the library, and I felt like living dangerously. As a thriller it's a quick read, filled with short chapters that make it easy to "just read one more". The central character is a quirky profiler (and he has some bigtime personal issues) inve
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  • Maléfices (La trilogie du Mal, #3)
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  • To Wander The Labyrinth
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Other Books in the Series

Franck Sharko (6 books)
  • Train d'enfer pour Ange rouge
  • Deuils de miel (Franck Sharko, #2)
  • Bred To Kill
  • Atomka
  • Angor

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“In 1977, I was barely twenty-five. The law office of Joseph Rauth, Washington, D.C. Two men, a father and son, arrived in Joseph’s office. The son, David Lavoix, was holding an article from the New York Times, and the father seemed…troubled, absent. David Lavoix held out the clipping, which talked about Project MK-Ultra. Just so you know, the Times had sent the first shot across the bow two years earlier, in 1975, by revealing that in the fifties and sixties the CIA had conducted mind-control experiments on American citizens, mostly without their knowledge or consent. Investigative hearings were held and the American people were officially informed about the existence of this top secret project.” 1 likes
“In 1973, the CIA, informed that reporters were sniffing around their affairs, had destroyed all the files concerning Project MK-Ultra. But the CIA is, above all, an enormous bureaucracy. Joseph Rauth was convinced that some traces had to remain of such an important project, which had extended over twenty-five years and involved dozens of directors and a staff of thousands. Under the auspices of the Rockefeller Commission, we were authorized access to documents or other materials relating to research into mind control. We hired an ex-CIA operative named Frank Macley to look into it. After several weeks of investigation, he confirmed that most of the files had been destroyed by two high-ranking officials: CIA Director Samuel Neels and one of his close associates, Michael Brown. But through his persistence, Macley unearthed seven huge crates of documents relating to MK-Ultra at the Agency’s records storage facility. Crates that had gotten lost in the administrative labyrinth.” 1 likes
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