From Children’s and YA writer, Hilde Vandermeeren, comes a fast-paced vivid thriller that will sit inside your head for long after you have put it down. The Scorpion’s Head is freshly out, published by Pushkin Press and translated by Laura Watkinson. The fourth book in the acclaimed Walter Presents Library, this fascinating psychological smorgasbord of plot, character, intrigue and determination will eat you up whole.

Hilde Vandermeeren (b. 1970) has written a wide range of books for children and young adults before becoming a thriller writer. Within a short space of time she has become a major voice within Flemish crime writing: her debut crime novel was shortlisted for the Gouden Strop prize and the follow-up won the Hercule Poirot prize. A trained psychologist, she specialises in psychological thrillers that are tightly and cinematically structured.

The Scorpion’s Head has a dynamic plot. Shortly after a fractious weekend away with her family, Gaelle wakes up injured in a psychiatric hospital in Berlin. Her seven-year-old son is in a coma in another hospital – and she is the prime suspect for the police in attempting to murder him. With little memory of what happened but convinced of her innocence, Gaelle escapes the hospital using cunning and her skill, running, and begins a pivotal seeking for the truth.

Michael is a contract killer working for Scorpio, a ruthless organisation that spares no-one, where any agent who violates the rules signs their own death warrant. When Michael decides to reject an assignment, he knows he must run for his life. This brings him to Gaelle in order to enable him to succeed in this rejection, and for once not cooperating as an operative for Scorpio.

A psychological crime novel with pace, prose that will pull you into their worlds and a definitive structure, The Scorpion’s Head is impossible not to page-turn, even for those not conventionally captivated by the crime thrillers. But once it’s up it’s hard to put down and Hilde’s writing and Laura’s brilliant translation will have you craving more around the world of Michael, Gaelle, Lukas and Fabienne.

The Scorpion’s Head is available now, published by Pushkin Press