Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cotard Delusion

Kill The Angel by Sandrine Dazieri.

From the wildly inventive mind of thriller master Sandrone Dazieri, whose first novel featuring investigators Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre, Kill the Father, was an international bestseller, comes the ingenious second novel in the series, Kill the Angel.

In Rome, a high-speed train hurtles into the city’s main station with a carriage full of dead bodies, the macabre discovery of which falls to Deputy Police Commissioner Colomba Caselli. Subsequently, the police receive a claim of responsibility and the threat of more murders to come. But neither Caselli nor her eccentrically brilliant ally, Dante Torre, are yet ready to buy the terrorist link.

As the two maverick investigators puncture the façade of what the perpetrator wants everyone to believe, they come close to dying several times.

Not for the first time, Dante’s bizarre childhood, during which he was kept confined for years in a concrete silo, enables him to see what others miss, and in this case, to connect with a kindred spirit of sorts, a woman named Giltine who experienced an equally bizarre childhood from which she emerged damaged, lethal, and full of murderous intent.

Adding to Giltine’s eerie fierceness is that, as the victim of a rare mental illness, she believes she’s already dead. She’s unacquainted with fear. And that makes her the most formidable foe Colomba and Dante have faced yet.

As the story climaxes, the duo finds themselves utterly on their own, on the outs with law enforcement and the only ones with a chance to make sure the waters of Venice don’t turn red with blood.
I was more interested in the state of the killer.

Giltine is the name of the goddess of death in ancient Lithuanian mythology. She has Cotard Delusion aka Walking Corpse Syndrome, a rare mental illness in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that they are already dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs. In her case, the decomposition of the largest organ of human - her skin. Thus she covers her body with bandages, or otherwise applies the orange-ish scented slimy foundations especially designed to slow the decay of the flesh which is used in the field of thanatocosmetics, to beautify the corpse and give it a pleasing appearance.

The wrappings came off the arm, taking with it all the remained of the skin, along with broad gobbets of necrotic flesh.  Giltine saw the exposed muscle fibers, the bone that was practically black with rot. The odor was so pungent that her eyes teared up. ~pg423
Can imagine it must be very painful.

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