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In Daglicht zien we Iris, een jonge succesvolle advocate, die worstelt met het combineren van haar carrière met de zorg voor haar moeilijk opvoedbare zoontje. En we hebben Ray, die is veroordeeld voor de moord op zijn buurvrouw en zijn straf uitzit in een tbs-kliniek. Hij houdt bij hoog en laag vol dat hij onschuldig is.
Op het eerste gezicht lijken Iris en Ray, weinig met elkaar gemeen te hebben,maar dat verandert wanneer hun wegen zich schijnbaar toevallig kruisen. Iris is geneigd Ray te geloven en belooft hem te zullen helpen om herziening te krijgen in zijn zaak. Wanneer Iris op onderzoek uitgaat, komen er echter steeds meer feiten aan het licht die Ray als de dader lijken aan te wijzen.

308 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2008

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About the author

Marion Pauw

44 books112 followers
Copywriter, journalist and author. Currently lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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5 stars
586 (18%)
4 stars
1,324 (41%)
3 stars
992 (31%)
2 stars
205 (6%)
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54 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 371 reviews
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,737 reviews14.1k followers
February 25, 2016
3.5 Iris, is a full grown woman, a part time lawyer with a young somewhat difficult child of her own, when she finds out she has a brother she knew nothing about. Not only that but he is a convicted murderer currently incarcerated in a mental facility. As he maintains he is innocent, on finally meeting him Iris decides to review his case.

Told in alternating chapters, Iris tells her story and Ray tells his past and present. Although slow in the beginning this is a finely written novel, an interesting psychological study that builds as it goes on. How and why did her mother keep her brother hidden from her? Who is his father and why was he sent away at the age of nine? The ending was a total surprise, once again I had no clue, but enjoyed getting there.

ARC from publisher.

Profile Image for Damian Dubois.
142 reviews94 followers
February 26, 2016
Since I received this book free from the publisher I guess I feel obligated that I should write a few words about it. Well, maybe later.

But all I'll say right now is that I picked where this book was headed so the ending wasn't that big of a surprise for me. This book had earned at least three stars up until the main character entertained a thought so stupid that it instantly caused that third star to implode leaving two dullish looking stars left in the night sky.

Marion Pauw just may be the answer to Gillian Flynn? I'm sorry, but not likely in my mind.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
210 reviews32 followers
July 19, 2016
A very good psychological thriller with two endearing main characters, especially Ray, a bitch mother and a deep family secret.
I wonder why Scandinavian authors are so talented for the dark, gruesome tales of crime ... Well, the fact is that whatever the reasons, some of the best thrillers I've read are Swedish, Danish or Dutch, and "Girl in the dark" is no exception.
Everyone that likes this genre will certainly like this book.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,280 reviews36 followers
June 2, 2016
This reminded me of Reconstructing Amelia in that it was really really dumb and felt like it was written by a 12 year old. BUT, it was still kind of a page turner, and if it had been marketed as a YA thriller it could have been okay.
Profile Image for Bookread2day.
2,237 reviews63 followers
August 5, 2018
So brilliant. No book of Girl In The Dark by Marion Pauw should be left on the book shelf in any book shop. All thriller fans should order your copy now, I can assure you all that you will not be disappointed. Each of the chapters of the story are told in turn by the voices of Ray and Iris. Ray became obsessed with his neighbour Rosita and her young daughter Anna. He was sentenced by the judge for the murder of Rosita and Anna. Iris is a lawyer she is assigned to Peter Van Benschop he has been using under age actors in x-rated films. Soon Iris finds out that there is a connection between Ray and her mother. This is a thrilling and very entertaining read. I just loved it.
Profile Image for Lisa.
750 reviews134 followers
March 10, 2017
This smooth, easy read is flirting dangerously with a fifth star. The only reason I'm holding it back is because it was just so smooth and easy and straightforward that I wonder if I'll remember it a year from now. If I do, I'll bump it up a star. Really well written, clear, smart, and nicely paced. I'll definitely be looking for more by Marion Pauw.
Profile Image for Lori L (She Treads Softly) .
2,264 reviews87 followers
February 10, 2016
Girl in the Dark by Marion Pauw is a very highly recommended thriller/mystery told through the distinct voices of two different characters. This is Pauw's American debut novel.

The first character we meet is Ray Boelens. Ray was convicted and imprisoned for killing his neighbor Rosita Angeli and her four-year-old daughter, Anna. He's now being moved to a forensic psychiatric institute. It is clear that Ray is on the Autism spectrum and has a difficult time with emotions and reading the motives of others.

Iris Kaselstein struggles with her job as a lawyer and being a single mother to three-year-old Aaron. Aaron has some behavioral issues and Iris is doing the best she can to care for him while still working. Luckily her law firm allows her to work part time. It is challenging when a call from Aaron's daycare necessitates halting an interview with a client. The client's family has long-time ties with the firm, so even though he is a sleaze-bag facing charges for using an underage teenager in a porn film Iris still has to represent him. She tries to call her mother to pick up Aaron, but Iris's mother is a cold and distant self-centered woman who will rarely disrupt her plans for others.

When Iris inadvertently uncovers information that leads to her discovery that Ray is her brother, she sets out to gather information on him and meet with him. Ray is insistent that he is innocent and did not kill anyone. Iris decides to investigate his case, hoping it will lead to an appeal.

In the meantime her mother, who never said a thing to Iris about an older brother, is now trying to discourage Iris's involvement with Ray. She insists that Iris does not know Ray and what he is capable of doing. Unable to handle his outbursts, she put him in a home for troubled boys at age nine. Although she apparently used to sneak off and visit Ray for years, she stopped years previously. She resolutely refuses to discuss anything about Ray with Iris.

None of this deters Iris who doggedly continues her investigation into Ray's crime, as well as why her mother would hide his existence from her and apparently from her deceased father.

Ray is having his own struggles as her tries to cope being in the criminal psychiatric unit. He didn't know he had a sister, but Iris continues to visit him and work on his case.

I really enjoyed the alternating points of view as each character shared their stories and their thoughts. I thought Pauw did an excellent job pulling this off while keeping the voices true to the characters. The characters are well developed and believable.

Girl in the Dark is fast-paced and compulsively readable. It kept my rapt attention from beginning to end. I was a girl in the dark about what had really happened until almost the end. I had an "Ah-ha!" moment very close to the end and raced to finish the novel ASAP to see if I was right. Hopefully we'll be reading more of Pauw's work in the future. Wonderful stuck-over-night-at-the-airport book!

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of HarperCollins for review purposes.

Profile Image for Maxine.
1,248 reviews43 followers
February 18, 2016
Iris Kaselstein is having trouble coping with all the demands on her. In her work life, she is a lawyer representing a client she despises and whose coworkers think she is not qualified for her position. In her private life, she’s a single mother with a three-year-old son whose aggressive and disruptive behaviour in his day care causes constant interruptions when she is called to pick him up and whose mother seems to vacillate between indifference and cruel criticism. Since her mother refuses to tell her anything about her past, Iris decides to do some snooping while the older woman is on holidays. She discovers that not only does she have a half-brother, Ray, her mother never mentioned but that he is in a institution for the criminally insane for a particularly heinous crime. She decides to visit him and discovers that he has autism. She is convinced of his innocence and decides that she will represent him in an appeal. This decision will have dangerous consequences for both herself and Ray.

Girl in the Dark by Dutch author Marion Pauw is told in alternating voices between Ray and Iris and is, for the most part, one hell of a compelling psychological thriller. The characters are well-drawn especially Ray and the pacing keeps the story moving at a good clip. The plot and storyline worked very well and kept my full attention right until the big reveal at the end. Admittedly, I didn’t see it coming but that’s perhaps due to the fact that it felt a bit contrived. Still, the novel kept me engaged and entertained and, if the ending failed to live up to the rest of the book, it was a very enjoyable journey getting to it. This is the first book by this author translated into English but I will definitely be looking for more of her work in the future.

Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,092 reviews924 followers
March 17, 2016
Lawyer to scumbags Iris finds out she has a secret brother in jail for murdering a woman and her four year old child. She decides to visit and becomes interested in appealing his case due to his insistence of innocence. Alternating between her and Ray's POV, this is a dark, Dutch tale.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether the translation is poor, or the story arc is just not very compelling. I was compelled enough to finish, but figured out the story fairly early on (a plot device mentioned one too many times tipped me off). I never felt much of a connection with Iris, and I found the complete lack of acknowledgment for most of the book that Ray or Iris's own child may have autism really strange. The dialog was also quite clunky, and again I'm not sure if this is due to translation issues.

Profile Image for Gabby gcdeditorial.
278 reviews19 followers
February 29, 2016
I'm not usually a huge thriller and mystery fan. I've read Gillian Flynn's work and loved it, but I usually have to be in the right mood. So I didn't have huge expectations when I began reading this book. But I have to say, I absolutely loved it!

Firstly, the story line was really interesting and intriguing. It reminded me a bit of Dark Places by Flynn. The constant suspense and plot twists kept me intrigued when reading, and I honestly couldn't put the book down. I ended up finishing it in a day and a half.

The characters I also really loved. Iris is so passionate and loving, and that really came out through Pauw's portrayal of her. I also felt a great deal of sympathy for her juggling being a single mother and working as a lawyer. And I absolutely love Ray. He is such a loving and adorable character and I enjoyed reading his perspective. I also felt sympathetic towards him due to how he was treated due to his autism.

The ending was amazing and I don't think it could have been any better. The plot twist and thrill really made the book that much better. It has put me in the mood to read more thrillers and mysteries.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of mysteries and thrillers, and suggest that they read this spectacular book!

I'll be doing a full review for this book over on my YouTube channel (link in my bio) so I will link it below once it has been posted.
Profile Image for Michelle.
651 reviews181 followers
July 25, 2016
Iris Kastlestein is a lawyer and single mother of a “difficult” child. During his week-long suspension from daycare she discovers she has an older brother, one that her mother has hidden from her. Her investigation brings her to an institution for the criminally insane. Dubbed the “Monster Next Door” her brother Ray is accused of killing his beautiful neighbor Rosita and her little girl Anna. Although all the evidence in the records points to Ray’s guilt, Iris decides to take on the case for his appeal. Day-by-day it becomes more evident that what Ray suffers from is not psychopathy, but autism. But does this mean he is innocent? Why did her mother keep his existence a secret for all these years? Who is Ray’s father and what other secrets does their mother have?
Profile Image for Natasha Niezgoda.
567 reviews222 followers
August 22, 2019
I would rate this book 3.5 stars (if possible). It was an easy read. I think I liked the narrative most. The plot line is somewhat predictable. And thus, the end was predictable. But nonetheless, it was entertaining enough to read over a four day period.
Profile Image for Janet.
97 reviews11 followers
May 10, 2016
I received a copy of Girl in the Dark from William Morrow Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This book was written by an up-and-coming Dutch author, and it definitely kept my interest throughout. The story is told from two alternating perspectives - that of Iris, a single mom and a part-time attorney, and Ray, her imprisoned autistic brother that she had no knowledge of. The story revolves around the reason that Ray is in prison - the murder of his neighbor and her little girl. The story line was entertaining, but I had a pretty good sense of where the ending was going before I got there. 3.5 overall.
172 reviews
April 7, 2016
Disappointing. This was a fast read but honestly I don't get where all the praise is coming from. I thought the writing was just ok, the plot a bit slow until the end, and the ending a bit too much. I guess it was a plot twist but I saw part of it coming and the when thing seemed awfully contrived.
Profile Image for Alice.
55 reviews
June 11, 2016
Simplistic writing with mostly one dimensional characters. The original Dutch title was Daylight. It seems American publishers think that anything with "girl" in the title will sell. This book apparently was written to be shocking but it's just plain boring. I got half way through and gave up.
Profile Image for Julie-ann James.
26 reviews
April 3, 2016
First half great. Second half like she remembered she needed to be somewhere and just raced through it.
Profile Image for Abi.
359 reviews54 followers
May 7, 2016
I went into this with high hopes but guessed the ending around 50 pages in. In addition, the conclusion had many loose threads and inconsistencies, preventing me from being satisfied.
Profile Image for Pamela.
135 reviews
May 23, 2016
This isn't like anything I have read before. Seriously captivating and an emotional read. Ray seriously made my heart ache and had me wanting to give him hugs the whole time.
Profile Image for Mariska Snijders.
68 reviews1 follower
August 7, 2016
Laten we het voorspelbare jetset maar snel vergeten. Wat een geweldig boek met zoveel lagen.
Profile Image for Belinda Vlasbaard.
3,270 reviews55 followers
June 5, 2022
4, 5 sterren - Nederlandse paperback

Peter van Benschop zat met een zelfingenomen grijns aan een tafel toen hij Iris Kastelein, advocaat bij Bartels & Peters, ontmoette. Hij ging er prat op om te praten over meer dan huis-, tuin- en keukenseks. Of sommige vrouwen dat fijn vinden, vroeg hij aan Iris. Iris hield bij die vraag de boot af. Maar Peter, als vervaardiger van kinderporno, vond het belangrijk te weten wie Iris was die hem in een civiele zaak verdedigde. Tijdens het gesprek werd Iris gebeld dat haar zoontje Áron zich op de crèche had vastgebeten in een ander kindje bij de kinderopvang. Of Iris maar onmiddellijk wilde komen werd er gevraagd. Op dat moment kwam het bij Iris niet op dat Áron wel eens autistisch zou kunnen zijn.

Ooit was Ray Boelens aangemerkt als verdachte van moord op zijn toenmalige buurvrouw Rosita de Jong en haar dochtertje Anna. Hij werd daarvoor veroordeeld tot een gevangenisstraf met tbs. Voor het ondergaan van zijn tbs werd hij vanuit de gevangenis in Amersfoort naar de tbs - Hopper kliniek in Haarlem gebracht. Tijdens het vervoerd werd hij door zijn bewakers ongekend vernederd. Onverwacht kreeg Ray in de kliniek bezoek van Iris Kastelein, die beweerde zijn zus te zijn. Ray raakte daarvan in de war. “Ik heb het niet gedaan”, zei Ray tegen haar. Iris stelde voor om als advocaat nog eens naar zijn dossier te kijken. Daarin las zij tegenstrijdigheden en leek het alsof er toentertijd bij de politie sprake van tunnelvisie was.

Geweldig dat het aspekt Autisme verweven wordt in een indrukwekkend geschreven thriller. Ik ben in de huid van personage Ray gekropwn. Ik voelde zijn frustratie en zijn onmacht. Voor als tijdens zijn detentie. En aan het einde merk je het verband tussen de ogenschijnlijk twee aparte verhaallijnen.
Profile Image for Tamara Van dishoeck.
1,348 reviews4 followers
November 24, 2020
Iris is een advocate die worstelt met de balans te vinden tussen werk en het zorgen voor haar zoontje die autistisch is. Ray is autistisch en zit in een Tbs-kliniek vanwege de moord van zijn buurvrouw en buurmeisje maar blijft zeggen dat hij onschuldig is. ze ontmoeten elkaar en Iris gaat zijn zaak onderzoeken maar begint steeds meer aan zijn onschuld te twijfelen. ik had de film ooit al eens gezien maar was al een tijdje geleden. het einde was ook weer een verassing voor mij. een spannend boek waar ik erg van heb genoten.
Profile Image for Robert P..
Author 10 books58 followers
May 22, 2020
I really enjoyed this book. Set in Holland it provides a nice change of location; it gives the book a good feel and it was really fascinating to see how differently Holland handles prison inmates compared to Canada and the US. The characters (both major and minor) are strong and interesting.
Profile Image for Ray Palen.
1,495 reviews41 followers
April 7, 2016
The latest in the seemingly endless wave or Nordic crime/thriller writers to invade the bookshelves of the U.S. is author Marion Pauw. GIRL IN THE DARK has already won a literary award for Best Dutch Crime Novel as well as being adapted into a film.

From the title I expected something dark and moody and was surprised to find the novel taking a distinctly different tone. GIRL IN THE DARK is much less Jo Nesbo and actually reminded of something an author like Jodi Picoult might have penned.

With the huge success of Gillian Flynn's GONE GIRL, using the dual-narrative style in mystery/thriller has been overly utilized by authors in various genres. Pauw utilizes this technique in GIRL IN THE DARK. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just feels like an annoying gimmick. In addition, there are flashback chapters thrown in which helps to keep the reader on edge (if that was the intended effect).

Iris is a single-mother, an attorney and mother to a very needy/high maintenance young son named Aaron. She also has an overbearing mother named Agatha who has always seemed to Iris like she was hiding something. Our other protagonist is Ray. Ray begins the novel in prison having been convicted of a brutal double murder. He is shortly thereafter transferred to a mental institution for special therapy that will address his behavior that shows many signs of serious autism.

Of course, the big secret (NOT a spoiler) is that Iris and Ray are siblings. When Iris discovers this she is furious at her mother and immediately wants to meet the brother she never knew she had. When she visits Ray she is alarmed at the resemblance to both their mother as well as her son Aaron. She becomes aware of the reason behind Ray's incarceration and she finds it hard to believe that the gentle and confused man she has just met could be capable of such horrific violence.

Flashback chapters introduce us to Ray's former neighbors, a divorced woman named Rosita and her daughter Anna. It is these two females that were brutally murdered with Ray taking the fall for the crime. Of course, the ex-husband involved with Rosita and Anna is an abusive, loud-mouthed jerk and Ray makes it a point to take out some aggression on him and his prized auto. It will not take a very astute mystery/thriller reader to surmise what might have actually happened to Rosita and Anna and who was responsible.

The rest of the novel is about a family seeking to heal itself. Iris makes it her mission to re-open her brother's case and see him cleared of a crime she is confident he did not commit. There are some twists and turns but in the end we are left with a well-written family drama that will probably appeal more to the fans of the dramatic fiction genre than those looking for hardcore thrills. What I found most interesting was the lack of Nordic atmosphere. It felt like this novel could have been set anywhere which makes it far more accessible to potential U.S. readers.

Reviewed by Ray Palen for New Mystery Reader

Profile Image for Véronique.
159 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2017
Dit is het tweede boek dat ik uit heb sinds ik abonnee ben bij Elly's Choice, en dat ik ook weer 5 sterren geef. Ik begon vrij sceptisch aan deze "literaire thriller", wat ie volgens mij ook niet echt is (noch literair, noch thriller). Het verhaal wordt verteld vanuit ik-perspectief - niet mijn favoriet - maar bij dit boek pakt het wel erg origineel uit. Er zijn twee protagonisten : Iris, de jonge advocate en alleenstaande moeder van een driejarige zoon met autistische trekjes, en de elf jaar oudere veroordeelde bakker-moordenaar en eveneens autistische Ray. Beiden hebben op het eerste zicht niets met elkaar te maken en vertellen elk "hun" verhaal.. Aanvankelijk hou je beide personages makkelijk uit elkaar (Iris die alweer een crèche-crisis moet zien op te lossen en Ray tussen de criminelen in een instelling), maar samen met de verhaallijn lopen beiden steeds meer in elkaar over. Iris en Ray blijken namelijk broer en zus te zijn, dus waar bijvoorbeeld "mijn moeder" eerst die van Iris of die van Ray kon zijn, wordt het naargelang het verhaal vordert "hun moeder".
Qua schrijfstijl valt dit boek wat mij betreft onder de noemer "chick lit". Het is niet spannend in die zin dat het je 's nachts nachtmerries bezorgt, maar wel als je daaronder verstaat dat je het boek haast onmogelijk neer kunt leggen. Ik heb er heel erg van genoten, en hoewel er zaken zijn die ik al vrij snel aanvoelde (het autisme, de verwantschap,...) en later ook effectief bleken te kloppen, blijft Marion Pauw tot op het einde verrassen. Het ideale boek om de leeszomer in te zetten !
426 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2016
A couldn't-put-down (after it got going) novel by Dutch novelist Marion Pauw, one of the best-selling writers in the Netherlands, first published there in 2009, winner of the Golden Noose Dutch Crime Award, and adapted into a movie. Translation published in the U.S. 2016.

Book is narrated by two people. Iris is a single mother and attorney. Ray is a prisoner, declaring his innocence of the murders he was convicted for. The clues drop slowly, and in the beginning a bit difficult in connecting the lines. Then the pace picks up. Iris discovers that she is not an only child as her rather cold mother has led her to believe, but that she has a brother, Ray, who is imprisoned. Iris visits Ray, and decides to investigate his claim of innocence. And the story shifts to fast-forward. Both Iris and Ray are interesting, likeable characters - Ray especially as even though he demonstrates autistic/Aspergers traits, he presents as believable and sympathetic. The author was talented enough to maintain suspense till the surprise ending - the perpetrator might have been guessed at, but the motive was indeed clever.
May add this to my list of re-reads in the distant future, but I probably won't forget the Ray character or the conclusion and the motive.
Profile Image for Carol.
2,417 reviews74 followers
July 4, 2016
"A single mother and lawyer, Iris has a colorful caseload, a young son with behavior issues, and a judgmental mother. She also has a brother—shocking news she uncovers by accident. Why did her mother lie to her for her entire life? Why did she hide the existence of Ray Boelens from her?
Curious about this sibling she has never known, Iris begins to search for long-buried truths. What she discovers surprises—and horrifies—her. Her older brother is autistic—and in prison for brutally murdering his neighbor and her daughter. Visiting Ray, she meets a man who looks heart-breakingly like her own son. A man who is devoted to his tropical fish and who loves baking bread. A man whose naivete unnerves her. There is no question that Ray is odd and obsessive, unable to communicate like the rest of us. But is he really a killer?"

The reader will in turns feel pity for Ray and at times will feel admiration while alternating between guilty and not guilty every few chapters. Girl in the Darkis a compulsive, page-turning, dark thriller about lies, murder and dogged determination. If you enjoy psychological suspense stories about dysfunctional families, or twisted endings...and I have to say I never expected the ending that I got... then you'll definitely want to read this one.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 371 reviews

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