THE ALPHABET HOUSE-JUSSI ADLER-OLSEN

THE ALPAHBET HOUSE – JUSSI ADLER-OLSEN

A brilliant story with a difference…British pilots James Teasdale and Bryan Young (friends from early childhood) are selected for a German photo-reconnaissance mission looking for factories. Their plane is shot down and the pair parachute into enemy territory. They board a train of high-ranking wounded SS soldiers and after throwing two of the dead officers’ bodies from the train they take their places, identification tags and clothes. Unfortunately, assuming psychiatric conditions they are sent to Alphabet House ( a mental hospital). “The Alphabet House” has an engrossing plot that has the reader turning pages to find out what happens next. The author’s background gives the period spent in the psychiatric hospital frightening authenticity. If I had any difficulties with the book it was that at times, I thought, the language too detailed and I wanted to get on…so in parts I skimmed.  Jussi Adler-Olsen is a favourite author of mine. Born in Copenhagen he was the child of a sexologist and psychiatrist and with his family spent a deal of time in doctors’ residences at several mental hospitals in Denmark. Adler-Olsen studied medicine, sociology, the History of Modern Politics and film making.