Blog Tour | Book Review: Dortmund Hibernate by C. J. Sutton (@rararesources)

Dortmund Hibernate - CJ Sutton

Welcome to my stop on the Dortmund Hibernate blog tour, I’m delighted to be sharing my review as part of the tour. And it just so happens to be ebook publication day, so there’s no wait to get your hands on a copy of this dark psychological thriller.


Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.

Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.

As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…

The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill.

It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.


Wow, this book is dark, exceptionally dark, Magnus really has his work cut out for him. Dortmund Hibernate started off as I expected it to, alongside Magnus, you meet these nine patients, you hear their crimes, your mind tries to comprehend their crimes but it can’t… yet, you keep trying, that’s humanity’s weird fascination with those who commit the darkest crimes, you want to learn more about these individuals because you want to understand how a person could commit such an act. If that morbid fascination doesn’t sit well with you, then this probably isn’t the book for you. If offensive language in novels doesn’t sit well with either, then you might want to give this one a miss. However, if you’re ready to enter the darkness, this is the novel for you.

“The mind determines what is real, and what is not. Alter a mind, and you can alter a reality”

Dortmund Hibernate contains some of the most depraved characters I’ve come across in fiction, this novel isn’t for the faint hearted. You have to have the darkest soul to become a patient of the Dortmund Asylum; the crimes the patients committed are brutal, their telling’s remorseless. This novel contains violence, sometimes with graphic descriptions. That’s your warning, don’t take it lightly when the blurb says, “Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds.”

I don’t want to give anything away but this book certainly delivered more than I expected. The first half, I really enjoyed, it was as I expected it to be, a psychologist delved into the darkest minds. As the novel progressed, the tension heightened because someone, somewhere cannot be trusted, and that puts everyone in danger. Then a twist out of left field totally altered the course of this novel, and I must say I was mighty impressed with one of the ‘reveals’ in this novel, it was so clever. A psychological thriller this is, but it may also appeal to those who enjoy horror novels.

Dortmund Hibernate isn’t likely to win any prizes for poetic prose, but it’s not meant to, it’s dark, sometimes brutal, all the time suspenseful. Sutton used the small-town of Dortmund to enhance the atmosphere of this novel, the isolation of the town, alongside the events that were occurring created a real sense of desolation.

I read this novel over the course of a day, I enjoyed it, but I did find towards the end of the novel, the plot dragged a bit, it could have finished more succinctly. Dortmund Hibernate is Sutton’s debut novel, while the tension and suspense is always there, and I always welcome a journey into a deranged mind, the feelings of unsettlement and that lingering disturbing feeling weren’t always present, as you’d imagine they would be due to the content – I think that was due to me sometimes struggling to believe in parts of the narrative in the second half of the novel, therefore the chilling nature was lost at times. However, this is a very good debut novel, with a very strong first half, one that I recommend and one that showcases the potential Sutton has for future novels, who knows how deep into the human psyche he will dare delve.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK

*My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy of this title and inviting me to participate in the blog tour*


Author Photo - CJ SuttonC.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.

As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.

Social Media Links: Facebook  /  Twitter  / Goodreads



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10 thoughts on “Blog Tour | Book Review: Dortmund Hibernate by C. J. Sutton (@rararesources)

    1. Thank you, Danielle. The synopsis drew me in completely! For the earlier part of the novel, and a few clever plot turns later on, it’s definitely worthy reading. I’m interesting to see what the author comes up with next!


  1. Excellent review and it sounds so intense and dark but well written! It makes me scared to read it but fascinated at the same time. Thank you for reviewing it, Janel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome review!
    I loved Shutter Island a lot. It was one of those twisty endings I’m still going wow about years later, so if this is similar then I’m sold! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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