While the quote on the back of the print edition The Stages by Thom Satterlee is attributed to Suspense Magazine the text quoted comes from Kaye George’s review below as Kaye gets us started off on another week….
The Stages by Thom Satterlee
Within a few pages, I fell in love with this book. It has a most unusual sleuth. Daniel loves pastries and Kierkegaard, misses Mette, his mentor who has been murdered, and is a person with Asperger’s. I personally would define him as moderately severely autistic. He is functioning, but has a tough time relating to people. This is not helped by being an American working in Denmark, one who understands but does not speak Danish.
Mette, who was his girlfriend many years ago, was most recently his boss at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center in Copenhagen. She was diligently working on his people skills and he recalls them as he works to find out who killed Mette. Daniel has found out the most about himself, however, through his studies of Kierkegaard, who may have been afflicted much as Daniel is.
The police officer investigating the case, Ingrid Bendtner, asks Daniel to be a mole at the Center to find out who the killer is and who has stolen a valuable newly discovered manuscript. Through Daniel’s tangents, typical for people like him, we find out much about Kierkegaard, but also a lot about his own condition.
The mystery is structured in Stages, which has a particular meaning to students of Kierkegaard. This novel was an ambitious undertaking and couldn’t have been done better.
Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Death in the Time of Ice, for Suspense Magazine