Thursday, September 15, 2022

Review Tour + #Giveaway: The Shadow of the Mole by Bob Van Laerhoven @bobvanlaerhoven @GoddessFish


by Bob Van Laerhoven

GENRE: Historical Mystery


1916, Bois de Bolante, France. The battles in the trenches are raging fiercer than ever. In a deserted mineshaft, French sappers discover an unconscious man and nickname him The Mole

Claiming he has lost his memory, The Mole is convinced that he's dead and that an Other has taken his place. The military brass considers him a deserter, but front physician and psychiatrist-in-training Michel Denis suspects that his patient's odd behavior is stemming from shellshock and tries to save him from the firing squad.

The mystery deepens when The Mole begins to write a story in écriture automatique that takes place in Vienna, with Dr. Josef Breuer, Freud's teacher, in a leading role. Traumatized by the recent loss of an arm, Denis becomes obsessed with his patient and is prepared to do everything he can to unravel his secret.

Set against the staggering backdrop of the First World War, The Shadow Of The Mole is a thrilling tableau of loss, frustration, anger, madness, secrets, and budding love. The most urgent question in this extraordinary story is: when, how, and why does reality shift into delusion?

THE SHADOW OF THE MOLE is available in e-book, paperback, hardcover, and audio book on Kindle, Apple, Nook, Rakuten, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Angus & Robertson, Mondadori, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble at Books2Read


Saint-Maclou is the anus of the Earth, Alain Mangin mused. The fifteen-year-old boy considered this trouvaille a literary feat.

Alain stood at the window of the attic in the manor house, overlooking the farmyard. The attic lantern, suspended from a beam, threw a honey-coloured shine on the wooden floor. Against the western wall, there stood a collection of big wooden puppets, carved by Alain’s grandfather in the tradition of the great Napolitano burattinai. In the middle of the attic, books from his father’s library lay scattered on the table. The morose atmosphere of the attic attracted the teenager.

Alain Mangin cherished a few vague memories of his father Raoul. The most beloved one was the image of Raoul in full military regalia during a parade in Paris ten years ago. Out of the same period came the strongest scene he retained from his early youth: a cacophony of voices in the shadowy environment of a raucous bar. His father’s laughter had been recognizable above all other sounds: heavy and testy, as though Raoul had to force each vibration from his throat.

The faces in Alain’s memory were distorted and eerie, like the faces of the puppets in the attic. A glass was held before his mouth. In a reflex the boy opened his lips and scowled when he tasted the sourness of the brew. The faces in the bar seemed to whirl like balloons, inflated, deflated, appearing, disappearing. In his memory, only the old woman in the back room had a body – bulbous breasts pressed together by a multicolour dress. The door behind him closed with a clap. The hubbub in the bar became a din. His father’s hand landed on his shoulders. He spoke to the gypsy woman. Alain heard the words, le futur.

The future was a thing without distinct meaning for a five year old.

The old gypsy placed her crystal ball on the table. During her long career in the working class districts of Paris, she had earned enough money to buy the finest counterfeit crystal. She also knew how a cunningly placed light source and a swift estimate of the customer could add an alluring aura to the tricks of her trade.

This customer was a godsend. The drunken fool wanted her to prophesy his young son’s future. The little one was spindly, with sheepish eyes, a petite bugger with an unhealthy blush on his cheeks.

My Review:

The Shadow of the Mole is a story about a man found in the trenches during the war in 1916, Bois de Bolante, France. The man has no memory of who he is and so is named the Mole. Not knowing who he is the Mole decides to write a story about his life. Now if he writes a story about his life how can he not know who he is? Good question, right?

The Shadow of the Mole is a very intriguing story that will hold your attention from beginning to end. It will keep you hanging on trying to figure out all its secrets as well as who this Mole is and if he is telling the truth or not. Who is the guy?

The Shadow of the Mole takes you deep into the depths of war with some very descriptive stories. The Shadow of the Mole will keep you wondering what the truth actually is. Is the story real or is it just a figment of someone’s imagination?

The Shadow of the Mole is a story about the tragedies of war and how it affects someone mentally and physically. The Shadow of the Mole is about suffering in the aftermath of war. The Shadow of the Mole tells how someone’s brain may deal with such afflictions.

If this sounds like something you would like to read, I strongly recommend grabbing a copy of The Shadow of the Mole today!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A full-time Belgian/Flemish author, Laerhoven has published 43 books in Holland and Belgium. His literary work is translated and republished in French, English, German, Spanish, Slovenian, Swedish, Italian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian and Chinese.

Four-time finalist of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Best Mystery Novel of the Year with the novels "Djinn," "The Finger of God," "Return to Hiroshima," and "The Firehand Files."

Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for "Baudelaire's Revenge," which also won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category "mystery/suspense."

In 2018, Crime Wave Press published "Return to Hiroshima," after "Baudelaire's Revenge," his second novel in English Translation.

His collection of short stories "Dangerous Obsessions," first published by The Anaphora Literary Press in the USA in 2015, was hailed as "best short story collection of 2015" by the San Diego Book Review. The collection is translated into Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

In 2018, The Anaphora Literary Press published "Heart Fever," the second collection of short stories. With this collection, Laerhoven became the only non-American author to be selected as a finalist in the Silver Falchion 2018 Award, in the category "short stories collections."

In addition, the quality English book site Murder, Mayhem & More chose "Return to Hiroshima" as one of the ten best international crime books of 2018. Readers' Favorite rated the novel Five Stars.

In August 2021, Next Chapter published the third novel in English: "Alejandro's Lie," set in a fictitious Latin-American dictatorship. Best Thriller Book Awards winner in the category « Political Thriller 2021" on

In February 2022, Next Chapter published "The Shadow Of The Mole," the fourth novel in English.

Connect with Bob Van Laerhoven

Website ~ Instagram ~ LinkedIn

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Tiktok



$10 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Sherry said...

Looks like this will be a great read.

Debbie P said...

This sounds like a very good read.