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The Shadow Of The Mole - 2022



1916, Bois de Bolante, France. The battles in the trenches are raging fiercer than ever. In a deserted mineshaft, French sappeurs 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 the leading role. Traumatized by the recent loss of an arm, Denis becomes obsessed with him, and is prepared to do everything he can to unravel the patient's 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 reality shifts into delusion?





The Shadow Of The Mole by Bob Van Laerhoven is an intense and powerful blend of mystery and history(…)The novel has dramatic depths that it displays effectively. After all, war can change any man. You can't help but feel anxious to learn The Mole's true identity (…)Bob Van Laerhoven never misses the opportunity to flesh out his characters, to give you insight as to who they are. Psychology as a discipline plays an important part in the plot and Laerhoven effectively embeds it in your consciousness through appropriate references. The Shadow of the Mole is as enigmatic as it is powerful. It is written with skill in the way it weaves scientific analysis with the inner lives of its characters. It's a must-read for anyone who enjoys a cerebral story with a great blend of mystery, history, and psychoanalysis." Five Stars

Vincent Dublado – Readers’ Favorite -


This very intriguing novel has been my first encounter with this author, a Flemish Lion from the land of Belgium, and I have to say that it certainly has been a pleasant experience. (…)Storytelling is of a very good quality, the story is very well structured and executed, and the characters involved come really alive in this tale about sub(conscious) thinking and making decisions. (…)It’s a wonderful story about love. loss, anger and secrets that are keeping people's inner feelings in turmoil, so much so that it can turn people's minds from clear reality towards troubled delusions when it comes to their actions and reactions towards life.
All in all, it’s a very clever and intriguing novel where deception and reality go hand in hand, and where people's minds are tested to their limits right till the end, especially when it comes to not identifying reality and starting to believe in imaginative delusions.
Very much recommended, for this is a very interesting and exciting read, and that's why I like to call this book: "A Captivating Shadow's Secrets"!

Clemens A. Schoonderwoert -

 "The Shadow Of The Mole" is exceptionally well penned by Bob Van Laerhoven. This book has many layers, like a man trying to escape the truth, frustration, anguish, urge for death and life, guilt. All of this set up during WW1. (….) I would like readers to read for themselves and enjoy this prodigious novel . This book definitely needs to be nominated for Nobel prize laureate awards.

Amazon customer 001- Amazon.India -

This novel is interesting, it has depth in its many layers that construct the story. Sometimes it felt disjointed and I wondered how all the elements would come together, but that’s the intriguing part. They do come together, in a surprising way. That, I suppose is what makes it different in structure to others. (…)The writing is sharp and to the point, we move from one moment to the next with The Moles stories in-between. The depictions of the war as the backdrop to the story are haunting and felt very real. In parts of this story you could imagine yourself there and pondered just how your own mind would react.The story is definitely a thriller, with the mystery of who the Mole is, interlaced with the psychoanalysis from his physicians. Add in the stories The Mole writes with the backdrop of war and you’ve got one interesting story that will leave you pondering the why/ how war affects ones mind.

Hayley’s Book Room:

The story is very well written and immersive, there is no sugarcoating on the descriptions of war and how it can mess up perfectly normal and regular individuals to the point one might start thinking there is an other in them, moving them around. There is a lot of despair as one would expect from a war tale, but there is also a spark of never ending hope, for it is the very thing that keeps people sane in such situations. There is drama, there is gossip, there is murder and even ghosts plaguing our protagonists’ psyche’s. I liked it a lot! I would definitely pick up more titles from this author!

Ellianie A. Guzmán Gálvez – Amazon Mexico -

The multiple points of view, timeframes, and scenes are not confusing and actually enhance the surreal feelings of the prose and intent to get a strong message across. There is also the stark portrayal of war that is at once horrifying, sad, and yet does not extinguish hope. (….)The outer story analyses and supports the inner story: it is a trieste on the mysteries of the psyche and of choices and results, and most importantly justifications. This book was years in the making, yet the correlations with the situation in the Ukraine are undeniable.(…) all of the war scenes, were done by a master.
My favorite line: "The curtain of the stage has been ripped...He's on wings between two worlds and sees other things than I." Please read the book to understand the beauty behind this.....
Hussong’s Cantina/ Lou Kemp  – -
Goodreads -


                                                          Q&A - Podcasts

 Interview about "The Shadow of the Mole" in "In Pursuit Of" – Literature and poetry – Ayesha F. Muskaan - India 

Article: A very personal reason for writing "The Shadow Of The Mole" - Author Lounge on ReadersMagnet:


Author George Ebey interviews me in the May 2022 edition of “The Big Thrill” – the magazine of the International Thriller Writers - about “The Shadow Of The Mole”

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