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Игра на амок

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Обаждането, което разруши живота му завинаги, дойде точно в 18,49 ч. Така започва новият психотрилър на немския бестселър автор Себастиан Фицек. След това в кратки, напрегнати глави писателят дума по дума ловува своите читатели. Интригата се заплита с решението на известна берлинска криминална психоложка да сложи край на живота си. Точно в този ден обаче в частна радиостанция нахлува въоръжен похитител, който взима екипа за заложници, и иска да преговаря единствено с въпросната психоложка. Ако тя не се свърже с него, на всеки час той ще убива по един заложник. Какви са исканията на похитителя? Ще намерят ли психоложката жива? Ще загинат ли заложници?... С всяка страница напрежението расте и ако читателят не чете внимателно, рискува сам да се превърне в обект на амок преследване.

284 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2007

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About the author

Sebastian Fitzek

80 books5,370 followers
Sebastian Fitzek was born in Berlin in 1971. After going to law school and being promoted to LL.D., he decided against a juridical profession for a creative occupation in the media. After the traineeship at a private radio station he switched to the competition as head of entertainment and became chief editor later on, thereafter becoming an independent executive consultant and format developer for numerous media companies in Europe. He lives in Berlin and is currently working in the programme management of a major capital radio station.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 366 reviews
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,854 reviews1,367 followers
October 7, 2021
‘Good morning, Berlin. It’s 7.35am. And you’re listening to your worst nightmare.’

However, it’s eight months previously that Jan May’s nightmare starts following a garbled phone call from his fiancée Leoni Gregor and almost simultaneously a hammering on the door reveals a detective who informs him that she is dead, killed in a car accident. How can this be? He wants answers hence his drastic decision to take seven hostages at Radio Station 101 Point 5. He demands listeners play Cash Call and if they use the exact words he requires then a hostage goes free, if not, a hostage dies. Thus starts a game of Russian Roulette by phone. The police bring in Ira Samin, a criminal psychologist to negotiate, she reluctantly agrees to help as she has other darker plans for the day.

The first half of the novel is good with a dangerous game ensuing with potentially catastrophic consequences. At times, it seems as if Ira and the SEK (Special Response Unit, like SWAT) are in a no win, rock and a hard place situation which is quite exciting. The mystery of Leoni is a good one and it becomes increasingly intriguing as more revelations are made. It soon becomes clear that nothing is quite as it seems and my plot antenna is in full twitch mode, some things I do work out as there are hints and others are a good surprise.

However, in the second half this promising book loses its way when it becomes just too convoluted and too far fetched to buy into. Too much betrayal, too much scene setting, too much deception and yes, unlikely as it may seem to a lover of a plot twist, too many twists and so it becomes over the top. Then there’s the ending. It builds and builds and what we get is too neat so it underwhelms and the prevarication to get to Ira’s truth is really irritating. Some of the dark humour goes over the top of my head and is probably due to a too literal translation issue and I don’t like these bits as they seem frivolous and unnecessary. The frequent repetition of Ira wanting a Cola Light Lemon drink drives me insane - somebody get her one PLEASE.

Overall, I really like Sebastian Fitzek and have read a number of his books but this one is not his best book by any means. Other reviewers who listened to it in audible are full of praise and I can see how it would work much better in this format, so maybe give that a try.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Head of Zeus for the widget in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews381 followers
November 12, 2021
I’ve enjoyed a number of books by Sebastian Fitzek but that was the bomb! Jan May has tried everything to get answers about the fate of his fiancée, Leoni Gregor, to no avail. Authorities are trying to tell him she is dead, burned up in a car accident and here are the photos that prove it. But - she rang him about an hour after her apparent time of death. The line was bad and he couldn’t understand much but he clearly heard the word “dead” and the phrase “don’t believe what they tell you”. What is one to think?

In desperation he storms Berlin radio station 101 point 5 and takes hostages. The cash call game is to continue but listeners must answer the phone with a specific phrase. If they do that a hostage will be released. If they get it wrong, a hostage will die. All he wants is for Leoni to be brought to him. Simple really….

Ira Samin, hostage negotiator starts her day thinking about how best to kill herself. Her elder daughter, Sara, had recently committed suicide and her younger daughter Katharina won’t talk to her. What is the point off going on? She decides she needs Diet Coke with lemon to wash down the poison oleander seeds she has in the freezer and goes out to buy a bottle. But her quest is sidetracked when Oliver Götz, a tactical officer with the police finds her and insists she accompany him to the Berlin Media Centre in Potsdamer Platz to negotiate with the hostage taker. Sure, she thinks, I can always kill myself later!

What a rush, a thrill ride, an adrenaline fuelled trip! Every time you think you know what’s happening in this story the ground shifts under your feet. You don’t know who to believe as the authorities argue and bicker over how to deal with this situation. Some of them want to storm the studio and shoot the hostage taker and others urge caution, after all he said he is strapped with explosives. My head was spinning with all the twists. And I know I’ve criticised some books for having too many twists but somehow, in this book, it all worked!

This was not about the characters although we did get a deep dive into Ira and Jan’s minds. They are are both psychiatrists, they have both lost someone and Ira starts to sympathise with Jan because of their shared experiences. He makes her tell him, on air, about Sara’s death before he will reveal his motivations. It was gut wrenching in parts. I had no idea how this would end and I’m not giving any clues but I can tell you this is one of the best and most different thrillers I have read. Many thanks to Netgalley and Head of Zeus and Sebastian Fitzek for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,613 reviews12.8k followers
November 9, 2021
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Sebastian Fitzek, and Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Sebastian Fitzek is a master of the sharp psychological thriller, pulling the reader into the middle of something, only to provide a massive twist to discombobulate anyone trying to following along. In this piece, there are layers of intrigue set against a fast-paced plot and a time limited narrative, where a killer has a handful of hostages and is broadcasting live over Berlin’s radio waves. With a criminal psychologist tasked with diffusing things, she has her own issues and finds the added pressure all too much. Explosive and chilling at the same time. Perhaps Fitzek’s best novel to date!

During the morning show on one of Berlin’s most popular radio programmes, a tour for winning listeners goes sideways when one among them decides to take the group hostage. He wants his demands broadcast live, on-air and is willing to use the show’s popular games to get what he wants. Listeners must answer when called and recite a precise phrase or someone will die.

All the while, renowned criminal psychologist, Ira Samin, is preparing to die. She can no longer handle the pain that has befallen her, but wants things done a certain way. When she is called into work as a hostage negotiator, her suicide plan must be temporarily shelved. Ira works to get to know the hostage taker a little better and takes his one demand very seriously, ‘find my fiancée and bring her to me’.

While Ira works to unravel a tense situation, she must also wrestle with some troubling news. It would seem the aforementioned fiancée has died months ago in an automobile accident. However, the hostage-taker will hear none of it. He knows she is alive and demands that she be brought to him. Ira does all she can, only to realise that there is another reason that she must end the hostage taking right away. While Ira works through her own issues, all of Germany is on high alert, awaiting the next call and hoping someone will pick up and say the right thing. If not, things could get much worse, live for all to hear.

While I only recently discovered the magic of Sebastian Fitzek, I cannot get enough of his writing. Twisted and highly entertaining, one can never decipher what twists await the reader as the story progresses. He is surely a master at his craft and has pulled me in with each of the novels I’ve read. There are so many layers to the stories that the reader must pay close attention, or risk being left behind.

Ira Samin is a well-developed and troubled protagonist, perfectly cast for this story. Her personal issues almost drown out the need for professionalism throughout the piece, but this only adds depth to an already intense story. Ira has come to terms with the end of her life, but seems almost put out that she cannot do what she wants most, to die, until she stops a madman from killing others. There is much the reader discovers about Ira as the story progresses, all of which is essential to her own larger narrative.

Fitzek opens the novel with a seemingly odd tangent, only to force the reader to realise that this is the crux of the novel. The narrative pushes forward and offers deceptive twists almost from the outset, keeping the reader guessing what is to come and how it will all play out. Using short chapters, Fitzek teases the reader to ‘read just a little more’ and captures their attention with ease. Chilling and not quite what it all seems, Fitzek delivers yet again, with an English translation that is as smooth as ever, not distrusting the flow whatsoever. I can only hope there are more stories like this to come, as I am ready and eager to see what’s next.

Kudos, Mr. Fitzek, for another winner. Where you get all these ideas is beyond me, but I am not complaining in the least.

Be sure to check for my review, first posted on Mystery and Suspense, as well as a number of other insightful comments by other reviewers.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
Profile Image for Annemarie.
249 reviews684 followers
December 5, 2016
Sebastian Fitzek ist mein absoluter deutscher Lieblingsautor. Für mich gibt es niemanden der bessere Thriller schreibt.
Jedes seiner Bücher ist auf seine eigene Art und Weise genial.
Der Schreibstil haut mich immer wieder um. Es gibt keine anderen Bücher die ich schneller lesen kann. Jede einzelne Zeile ist Spannung pur.

Alles von ihm ist eine definitive Empfehlung von mir! Falsch machen kann man mit seinen Büchern nichts.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,016 reviews551 followers
May 13, 2015
This was a new experience for me. I’ve long been a fan of audiobooks – I started to listen to them when I commuted for over three hours each day – but it’s always been my experience that the book is simply read to me. Admittedly, the readers are normally skilled in this endeavour and are able to bring the characters to life in a way I’ve always found appealing. But his production was different; it was presented as a drama with a whole cast of actors plus accompanying sound effects. If you’ve ever listened to The Archers on the radio you’ll get the picture.

The actors used were pretty much household names I’ve come across in television and film (e.g. Natasha McElhone, Rafe Spall and Peter Firth) and the whole experience seemed ‘bigger’ than simply hearing the book read. I don’t mean to infer it was better; it’s more that my imagination seemed less taxed as the whole scene presented a clear picture in my head without me having to conjure one up.

Based on a book by a German writer I’d not come across before, the story follows what happens when a Berlin radio station is taken over by a man who is trying to track down his missing fiancée. Hostages are taken and a bizarre game of Russian Roulette transpires as the hostage taker randomly phones numbers with the promise that if the call is not answered with correct phrase (chosen by him and broadcast via the live radio feed) he’d shoot a hostage. As this plays out, the hostage negotiator and the team around her desperately try to control the situation. There’s much more to the story than I’ve provided but you’ll really have to listen to the audio production or read the book to find out the rest. Suffice to say, it’s a thrilling experience with more twists than the average Jeffery Deaver novel.

The tension is maintained at an almost unbearable level for the first half of the tale, I could barely stop myself listening to it. Then the twists started to come thick and fast and, for me, this turned the temperature down somewhat. It was still captivating but I wasn’t quite so obsessed with the outcome as I’d been earlier.

Overall I found it to be a brilliantly executed production of a very clever concept. I can’t help thinking a simpler story – one that maintained the searing intensity for longer without clouding the issue – would have been stronger. I do know one thing for certain, I’ll be seeking out another Audible Original Drama sometime soon.
Profile Image for bookspumpkin.
421 reviews161 followers
December 26, 2014
Ein typischer Fitzek! Spannend, Unglaublich, Atemberaubend.
Einer der besten Autoren, meiner Meinung nach.
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,624 reviews1,602 followers
November 24, 2021
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

This was supposed to be the last day of her life. Renowned criminal psychologist Ira Samin can no longer bare the feelings of guilt inspired by her eldest daughters death. and had decided to commit suicide. The preparations are all in place when Samin is summoned to a radio station where people have been taken hostage by a violent psychopath. A macabre game will decide the fate of it's victims. From the studio, the hostage-taker dials numbers at random: if the phone is answered "correctly", a hostage is released; if not, the hostage will be shot.

This is a twit filled, tense and thrilling read, The pace is fast from the beginning. The police summon Ira to help with a hostage situation playing a terrifying game with peoples lives. The plotline is multi-layered with a few surprises along the way.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #HeadOfZeus and the author #SebastianFitzek for my ARC of #Amok in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mike.
633 reviews50 followers
February 5, 2022
Translated by Jamie Lee Searle, Amok is written by German author Sebastian Fitzek. It begins with a flashback to an unnamed man in his luxury apartment. Then it jumps eight months to current day Berlin, as Ira Samin contemplates suicide. A telephone call interrupts her and she is required to use her formidable hostage negotiation skills. A siege is underway at a local radio station and the rules of the random cash call game are dangerously changed. The situation is being broadcast live and the hostages’ lives are at grave risk, given shots have been fired. So, the narrative reveals the unfolding drama, complications and connections that you won’t see coming. Then there is the ultimate curve ball, with the demand made to bring the kidnapper’s wife to the radio station but she is dead. As an absorbingly gripping read with interlaced twists throughout, it makes for a must read five-star rating mystery. With thanks to Head of Zeus and the author, for an uncorrected proof for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given for such a highly enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Dana-Adriana B..
622 reviews261 followers
December 31, 2021
This thriller is breathtaking from the first page. For a long time, I did not read a book like this, fast and very intriguing. I did not like Ira much (too American for. me) but Jan had lots of courage to do this.
Thanks to Netglley for this adventure.
Profile Image for Maud.
153 reviews13 followers
May 18, 2016

een buitengewoon knappe psychologische thriller, spannend tot het einde met een zeer verrassend plot. Een heerlijke combinatie van spanning en echt menselijke aspecten vh leven
een boek dat je echt in één adem uitleest (hoewel als fulltime werkende moeder toch met de nodige pauzes om de "huishoudelijke taken" te vervullen)
ik heb genoten...tot het allerlaatste woord met op het einde toch een wegslikken van de nodige emoties.
Profile Image for Jana.
764 reviews12 followers
February 26, 2019
Booze..ako to vie ten Fitzek vsetko zamotat 🤣. Zloducha som tusila asi od polovice, ale v podstate do tej polovice som nemala predstavu, vo co go 😂😂😂. Potom to cele zacalo mat ake take kontury....a ten zaver...citala som jak sialena, len aby som to vsetko zhltla 😁. Normálne som sa zamyslela, ako tie svoje knihy pise.. tipujem, ze od konca 🤣. Lebo toto namixovat od prvej strany sa mi vidi nemozne 😆. Veeelmi dobre citanie.
Profile Image for Janine.
772 reviews10 followers
February 16, 2021
"Dieser Tag soll ihr letzter sein. Die renommierte Kriminalpsychologin Ira Samin hat ihren Selbstmord sorgfältig vorbereitet. Zu schwer lastet der Tod ihrer ältesten Tochter auf ihrem Gewissen. Doch dann wird sie zu einem brutalen Geiseldrama in einem Radiosender gerufen. Ein Psychopath spielt ein makaberes Spiel: Bei laufender Sendung ruft er wahllos Menschen an. Melden die sich am Telefon mit einer bestimmten Parole, wird eine Geisel freigelassen. Wenn nicht, wird eine erschossen. Der Mann droht, so lange weiterzuspielen, bis seine Verlobte zu ihm ins Studio kommt. Doch die ist seit Monaten tot. Ira beginnt mit einer aussichtslosen Verhandlung, bei der ihr Millionen Menschen zuhören …"

Ich habe die Geschichte vor Jahren mal gelesen und habe diese total vergessen. Warum auch immer. Ich hatte schon die Befürchtung, dass dann wohl eine nicht so gute Geschichte sein müsste, doch ich wurde eines besseren gelehrt.
Ich fand die Geschichte spannend, war flüssig zu lesen und erst nach und nach setzten sich die Puzzleteile zu einem Ganzen zusammen. Das hat mir wirklich sehr gut gefallen. Die verschiedene Habdkungsstränge fand ich sehr interessant. Was ist mit der Verlobten mit Jan? Lebt sie noch? Was ist mit Iras Tochter passiert?
Dennoch muss ich jedoch kritisieren, dass das schon arg viele Zufälle gab und es stellenweise sehr überzogen war. Also einfach zu viel des Guten. Ich kann mir beim besten Willen auch nicht vorstellen, dass eine Alkoholikerin solche Verhandlungen durchstehen könnte. Nur um ein Beispiel zu nenne.
Aber trotzdem war das Ende schlüssig und alle offene Fragen wurden logisch geklärt. Das Ende hat mich igendwie sehr berührt. Insgesamt ein spannender Thriller, den ich empfehlen kann.

Profile Image for Tintentraeume.
260 reviews25 followers
May 28, 2019
Wow! Wieder mal ein Fitzek ganz nach meinem Geschmack. Das Spannungslevel war durchgehend hoch, es gab zahlreiche Überraschungen und Schocker und bis zuletzt war man als Leser verwoben in ein Rätsel, dessen Lösung sich erst ganz am Ende offenbart. Einziger Kritikpunkt: Der Epilog, der war mir - dazu neigt Herr Fitzek ja gerne - etwas zu drüber und over the top. Deshalb denke ich mir das letzte Kapitel einfach weg und merke mir: Ich sollte dringend noch die ausstehenden älteren Bücher des Autors verschlingen, dort könnte noch das ein oder andere Schätzchen auf mich warten.
Profile Image for readingxeverything.
16 reviews23 followers
February 7, 2017
Ich habe das Gefühl, je mehr Bücher ich von Fitzek lese, desto schneller ahne ich im Verlauf des Buches, worauf es hinausläuft. Es ist als hätte er ein fertiges Schema, nach dem er schreibt, und welches er, mit mehr oder weniger geringfügigen Änderungen, auf jedes seiner Bücher anwendet, wodurch man mit der Zeit weiß, worauf man achten muss. Dadurch geht zumindest für mich einiges an Spannung und vom Überraschungsmoment verloren, was ich sehr schade finde.
Dennoch gebe ich drei Sterne, weil die Handlung an sich gut war und ich es, zumindest bis zum letzten Drittel oder so, spannend fand. Außerdem hat mich das Ende sehr bewegt, auch wenn der Ausgang ebenfalls vorhersehbar war.
Profile Image for Annie.
74 reviews23 followers
December 10, 2016
3.5 Sterne
Hat mir leider nicht so gut gefallen wie die anderen Bücher von Fitzek.
Obwohl das Ende wie gewohnt klasse war und es wieder den ein oder anderen Twist gab, den ich nicht kommen sah, hat sich bei mir die Spannung erst viel zu spät aufgebaut, wodurch sich die ersten 200 Seiten leider eher schleppend lasen.
Profile Image for Leah.
1,340 reviews197 followers
June 6, 2015
Dead or alive...

A year before the story proper begins, Jan May is waiting for his girlfriend Leonie to arrive for dinner. He has decided this will be the evening he will propose and is confident of her answer. But his plans are destroyed when she phones him to say they will not be able to see each other again for an indefinite period, perhaps forever. “They will tell you that I'm dead – but I'm not, OK?” And at that moment the doorbell rings – and the police inform Jan that Leonie died in a car accident earlier that day. Despite all his protests, Jan has never seen or heard from Leonie since and is unable to convince anyone that she's alive.

Criminal psychologist and police negotiator Ira Samin has never forgiven herself for failing to prevent her daughter Sarah's suicide, and now Ira is planning to end her own life. But she has to put it on hold when her old police colleague and ex-lover Gertz persuades her to attend a developing situation at the local radio station. Jan May has taken several people hostage and is threatening to kill them unless Leonie is found. He's on-air and has told the audience that he will phone a member of the public at random each hour – if they answer with the correct slogan, a hostage will be released, but if they don't, then one will be killed. Ira will have to negotiate with him on-air and he's only prepared to talk to her if she's willing to tell him about her daughter's death... and the situation becomes even more tense when Ira discovers that one of the hostages is her other daughter, Kitty...

I loved the half-narrated, half-dramatised format of Fitzek's previous audiobook, The Child, though I was less enamoured with the actual story, so I was keen to listen to this one. And my reaction is pretty similar. The idea, of having a cast of top actors to perform the dialogue while still retaining the unabridged nature of the book by having a narrator for the in-between bits, is great – a real advance in thriller-type audiobooks, I think. As in the last one, Robert Glenister is the narrator and he does an excellent job. Jan May is played by the wonderful Adrian Lester, possibly best known for his role in Hustle, but a very fine stage actor too, and he gives a good performance here. I wasn't so enamoured by Natascha McElhone as Ira, partly because her rather clipped and “actor-y” accent grated on me, but also her role didn't give her the opportunity to show us any emotions other than misery and despair, which can become a little tedious after the first six hours or so. Rafe Spall, Peter Firth and Brendan Coyle each perform well as the three main supporting characters. The use of sound effects during the dramatised parts and the snips of weirdly discordant music to divide the chapters add a lot to the overall effect, making it feel more like a drama serial than a novel.

But – you knew there was a but coming, didn't you? - the story is far-fetched and relies too much on coincidence. I found it impossible after a while to keep my incredulity in check. I wondered if, in this particular case, the audio format maybe didn't work as well as reading would have – I felt it might have been a fast-paced page-turner on paper, possibly leaving the reader no time to think about the unlikeliness of some of the events or to work out the various twists. But I'm a very slow listener to audiobooks, sometimes as little as fifteen minutes at a time, and I found that stopped me from getting swept up in the action, and also allowed me to work out the big twist at about halfway through the book, removing a lot of the tension from the second half. While The Child grabbed me and made me listen for longer chunks, doing that 'just one more chapter' thing, this one didn't have the same effect. However, much of that is a subjective criticism – someone who normally listens in longer blocks might well find the action carries them along.

So overall, loved the format, enjoyed most of the performances, and really hope that Audible do more books in this way in the future. But in the end the story is the most important thing, and unfortunately it didn't grab me quite as much as I'd hoped. 3½ stars for me, so rounded up.

Profile Image for paperlove.
986 reviews53 followers
November 10, 2019
Gerade jetzt, nachdem Fitzeks neuster Thriller "Das Geschenk" pünktlich zur Abstimmung des Leserpreises erschienen ist (ein Schelm, wer Böses dabei denkt 😉) und jeder darüber spricht, habe ich ganz bewusst zu einem seiner älteren Bücher gegriffen. "Amokspiel" ist vor rund zehn Jahren erschienen und dreht sich um eine Geiselnahme in einer Radiostation. Der Täter - ausgerechnet mal wieder ein Psychologe, was sich in Fitzeks Werken wohl nie ändern wird - spielt mit seiner Zuhörerschaft ein perfides Spiel: Während jeder Stunde wird er einen x-beliebigen Haushalt in Berlin anrufen. Wenn die Person, die das Telefon abnimmt, nicht als erstes einen ganz spezifischen Satz nennt, dann stirbt eine der Geiseln. Sagt die Person jedoch den richtigen Satz, dann überleben alle Personen in seiner Gefangenschaft für eine weitere Stunde. Was man anfangs noch nicht weiss, ist die tragische Hintergrundgeschichte, hinter diesem bösen Spiel des Täters. Denn er macht das Ganze nicht etwa zu seiner eigenen Belustigung, sondern aus Verzweiflung: Er hofft so, seine Verlobte wiederzusehen. Der Haken an der Sache? Die Verlobte ist bereits vor einiger Zeit bei einem tragischen Unfall ums Leben gekommen. Und damit werden die Ermittler vor ein kniffliges Rätsel gestellt...

Ich muss gestehen, dass dies der erste Thriller von Fitzek war, der mich nicht richtig packen konnte. Ich habe ziemlich lange gebraucht, um überhaupt zu verstehen, um was es eigentlich geht und wer wer ist. Denn neben der Perspektive des Täters, dessen Situation man immer wieder hautnah aus seiner Sicht erlebt, werden abwechselnd einige Kapitel aus Sicht der Ermittlerin Ira beschrieben, die eher unabsichtlich in den Fall hineingerät. Ira ist selbst psychisch angeschlagen und hat ihre Tochter auf eine tragischer Art und Weise verloren, die sichtbare Spuren bei ihr hinterlassen haben. Dennoch ist sie es, die telefonischen Kontakt zum Täter aufnimmt und versucht, die Geiseln zu retten. Dabei muss sie jedoch über ihre eigene Vergangenheit sprechen und einige alte Wunden wieder aufreissen.

Wie man es von Fitzek gewohnt ist, werden die Leser*innen nach und nach auf die richtige Fährte gelotst, indem häppchenweise neue Informationen enthüllt werden, die zum Verständnis der übergeordneten Plots dienen. Doch je mehr man in dieser Geschichte erfährt, desto absurder wird das Ganze. Das führt soweit, dass ich im letzten Viertel beinahe komplett mein Interesse für die Auflösung der Geschichte verloren habe, denn die Erklärung hinter dem Ganzen war einfach total hanebüchen. Jedes Mal, wenn man denkt, die Story könnte nicht mehr absurder werden, passiert irgendein Deus Ex Machina, der den Plot als total unglaubwürdig erscheinen lässt. Insgesamt gab es mir zu viele verschiedene Charaktere (die allesamt nur mit ihrem Nachnamen erwähnt wurden, was meinem Verständnis nicht unbedingt geholfen hat) und zu viele Verstrickungen und Verschwörungen. Fitzek hat wohl einfach mal alles in sein Buch gepackt, das ihm eingefallen ist. Die Verschwörung in "Noah" hat mir zum Beispiel viel besser gefallen. Hier wäre weniger definitiv mehr gewesen.

Amokspiel ist, so leid es mir tut, in meinen Augen der schlechteste Thriller, den ich bisher von Fitzek gelesen habe. Der Plot wirkt viel zu konstruiert und strotz nur so von unglaubwürdigen Plot Twists, die keinen Sinn ergeben und sich letztendlich jeweils als Deus Ex Machina entpuppen. Obwohl mich der Autor bisher mit seinem Schreibstil immer packen konnte, war es das erste Mal, dass bei mir so gar keine Spannung aufkam und mich regelrecht zum Weiterlesen zwingen musste. Die Auflösung ist erwartungsgemäss total hanebüchen und hat mich enttäuscht zurückgelassen. Das kann Fitzek eindeutig besser. Dieses Buch des Autors kann ich leider nicht weiterempfehlen.
Profile Image for Simonica Sacher.
162 reviews2 followers
March 4, 2021
Auf einen Fitzek folgt gleich ein zweiter! Auch dieser hier konnte mich überzeugen, allerdings hat er sich meiner Meinung doch manchmal etwas gezogen.
Meistens sind Amokläufe ja geplant und genau das war auch hier der Fall. Generell wurden in dieser Geschichte viele typischen Hinweise erfüllt und der Beweggrund war hier natürlich ausschlaggebend.
Auch waren bei diesem Fitzek wieder alle Charaktere detailliert beschrieben und waren auch untereinander verknüpft. Vor allem Iras Lebensgeschichte hat mich hierbei fasziniert, aber auch Jan hat es schwer getroffen.
Ira lernt man schon anfangs kennen und ich muss sagen, dass ich hier zu schnell geurteilt habe. Dennoch war es teilweise für mich nicht genau klar, was passiert ist. Deswegen hätte ich mir gleich am Anfang eine bessere Erklärung gewünscht.
Jans Schicksal wurde natürlich auch nach und nach erklärt, was jedoch Spannung aufgebaut und die Situation interessanter gemacht hat. Auch über die weiteren Personen lernen wir einige Hintergründe und Geheimnisse kennen, die mich zwischendurch immer wieder geschockt haben.
Jans Plan scheint ausgeklügelt und unzerstörbar und doch muss er mit einigen Konsequenzen und Fehlschlägen rechnen. Ich fand die Entwicklung des Amoklaufs und auch seiner Persönlichkeit wirklich interessant zu beobachten und habe während des Lesens einige Emotionen für ihn aufgebracht - sowohl positiv als auch negativ.
Trotz der Spannung und des durchdachten Spiels gab es hin und wieder Stellen, die sich meiner Meinung nach etwas gezogen haben und den Lesefluss beeinträchtigten. Nichtsdestotrotz hab ich es wirklich genossen und kann es nur empfehlen.
Profile Image for Lily S. .
167 reviews34 followers
December 30, 2017
I'd give 3 stars.

This book by Fitzek has been sitting on my shelf since 2011. It was time to get to it and I was in the mood for a good psychological thriller for the end of the year.

The premise is very interesting, especially for people enjoying hostage situations like myself. A man occupies a radio station, holds hostages demanding to know where his fiance is. In every hour he calls a random number threatening to kill someone if the person doesn't answer with the right slogan. A troubled psychologist is called to resolve the situation, but soon it becomes clear that the nothing is as it seems to be.

Indeed things get complicated, Fitzek adds many interesting subplots but maybe this time he tried to put in too many things without giving them enough space to evolve. While it's easy to follow and interesting the short chapters and the quick shifts in the POVs make it somewhat annoying to read parts of the book. Things happen very quickly, some scenes and characters could be more developed to grant a more complete reading experience.

Another big problem for me was that towards the end the plot twists were too grandiose making the final outcome hard to believe (but not entirely impossible) and the end had too many cliche lines.

Despite the numerous weaknesses it's still a very enjoyable book with an interesting plot.

Profile Image for Beatrix.
577 reviews5 followers
April 13, 2017
Le a kalappal az író előtt, nagyon izgalmas történetet alkotott. Pedig tartottam tőle, mert eddig nem olvastam jó német krimit. De Fitzek végig remekül tartotta a feszültséget, újabb és újabb adalékokat szolgáltatva a sztorihoz. Még biztosan olvasok tőle.
Profile Image for Doreen.
8 reviews6 followers
August 13, 2017
Es war definitiv spannend von Anfang bis Ende. Aber zum Schluss dich ein bisschen abgedreht
Profile Image for Thegurkenkaiser.
184 reviews17 followers
July 16, 2018
- es ist spannend.
- das setting ist einigermaßen originell.

- die Charactere sind teilweise Thriller-klischees aus Filmen, die heute nicht mal mehr gemacht werden. gut, das buch ist 2005 erschienen oder so, aber trotzdem. kann aber sein dass das genre das einfach so verlangt, bin da kein experte.

allerdings erinner ich mich vor einiger zeit einige thriller von zoran drvenkar gelesen zu haben die das besser gemacht haben.

was mich immer stört ist wenn personen in dialogen eigentlich zur Leserin sprechen und erklären was los ist. manchmal unumgänglich aber Leute reden mit ihrsesgleichen anders, abgekürzter, elliptischer. Das Wissen, das Leser_innen brauchen, muss man anders transporieren. man kennt dieses james bond-klischee wo der bösewicht seinen ganzen plan erzählt. warum? weil der plot sonst nicht mehr verstanden wird. das ist eine unelegante lösung, jedenfalls heutzutage.
Profile Image for Jasmin.
298 reviews14 followers
March 31, 2017
Fitzek ist und bleibt meine Nr.1 wenn es um Psychothriller geht. Amokspiel hatte ich an nur einen Tag durchgelesen. Spannend bis zum Schluss - obwohl ich zwischendurch von der ein oder anderen Vorahnung gepackt wurde, was mir sonst bei Fitzek nicht passiert.
Profile Image for Ludwig Reicherstorfer.
90 reviews3 followers
January 4, 2023
Als Fitzek-Fanboy dürfte klar sein, dass ich diesen, einen früheren Roman des Autors, ebenso großartig finde wie seine aktuellen Bestseller. Hier sei aber wieder einmal auf den letzten Twist, ganz am Ende hingewisen. Das bekommt einfach kaum jemand so hin wie Fitzek. Unbedingt lesen!
Profile Image for Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine).
442 reviews66 followers
October 15, 2021
Jan May is a certified psychotherapist whose life was turned upside down eight months ago when his beloved girlfriend, Leoni, allegedly died in a car accident. Convinced that Leoni is still alive and having nothing left to lose, Jan storms into the premises of one of Berlin's most prominent radio stations and takes several people hostage. Distorting the rules of a popular game, Cash Call, he declares that he will call a random number in the city every hour and if the person who picks up the phone doesn't respond with a specific slogan, he will shoot one of the hostages. His only demand is to see Leoni once again, even if she is officially considered to be deceased. Jan's radical transformation from a peaceful, law-abiding citizen into a terrorist determined to kill stems from his unwavering belief that he is the victim of a huge conspiracy involving people high up in the judicial hierarchy.

Ira Samin is a criminal psychologist and hostage negotiator working for the police and the reader is introduced to her character as she wakes up one day hellbent on taking her own life. Ira is still mourning the death of her daughter, Sara, who committed suicide and is one the verge of swallowing poison when a colleague and ex-lover, Gotz, traces her and asks her to help with the situation in Radio 101 point 5. As Ira makes her first attempts to contact and establish rapport with Jan, she begins to suspect that perhaps there is some percentage of truth in his wild speculations and accusations. Soon, Ira and some of her most trusted comrades start investigating the circumstances surrounding Leoni's death and they find many holes in the official explanation of the accident. At the same time, Ira finds herself more personally involved in the hostage situation as one of the victims is her other daughter, Katharina or Kitty.

Amok is a bumpy ride of a thriller and the story has so many twists that ends up being over-the-top and implausible. Readers who are familiar with Fitzek's novels will recognize the author's tradermark writing style and multi-layered plotting which is often perceived as overly complex and unnecessarily convoluted. What begins as a claustrophobic, tense narrative quickly disintegrates into a roller-coaster of quirky surprises and unexpected revelations, supposed to keep the reader's attention fixed to the pages. Unfortunately, the repetition of cliched tropes deems the novel conventional and the sloppiness in characterization and dialogue does nothing to mitigate that impression. We are supposed to empathize with both Ira and Jan, but their backstories are relayed in such a way that they resemble more like riddles than a character's background information. The German author heavily relies on the spin factor to keep the suspense alive, but fails to deliver in almost every other aspect of a a decent crime/thriller novel. Recommended only to Fitzek's hardcore fans.
Profile Image for Anja.
588 reviews10 followers
March 10, 2013
Meine Meinung:

Erstmal eins vorneweg: Ich habe das Buch seit etwa 30 Minuten fertig gelesen und mir laufen immernoch die Tränen.
Nachdem ich “Splitter” vom gleichen Autoren abgebrochen habe weil ich mich dort gar nicht reingefunden habe, entschied ich mich für dieses Buch und das war mal echt der Wahnsinn. Man kommt nicht eine Minute mal zum durchatmen oder dazu, das gelesene mal sacken zu lassen. Keine chance! Obwohl es viele Ecken und Enden gibt, kommt man durchgehend super gut mit und gelangt immer wieder in einen neuen Schock weil man nicht gedacht hätte was da noch für wendungen kommen. Nach der ganzen Spannung und den gedanken die man sich die ganze Zeit macht, kommen ab etwa 90 Prozent des Buches due Tränen. Ich konnte, nachdem Knall auf Knall gekommen ist nicht mehr aufhören zu weinen, die letzten Seiten wars dann ganz vorbei. Keine Leseempfehlung, sondern ein absulutes MUSS!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Dimitris Kopsidas.
219 reviews8 followers
October 13, 2021
Fitzek fans will not be disappointed by this book. All his typical ingredients appear here, suspense, thrill, and constant twists. But what makes this one of his best books is the emotional impact that it hits the reader with, in its finale. I think he handled the theme of guilt extremely well.
If you liked his previous books, you'll thoroughly enjoy Amok. If you're a new Fitzek fan, prepare for a fast pace and a story full of suspense but also expect some plot holes that you'll have to look aside in order to make the most of your reading experience. In typical Fitzek fashion he sometimes leans on unrealistic behaviours to maximise the surprise element, and even though I can't say that this time I was surprised by the final twist, as a whole this book made for a fun reading experience.

Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 366 reviews

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