Winner of the  “Political Thriller of the Year 2021” award

Purchase link:

Genre:  Literary thriller

Print length: 292 pages

Age range: This is an adult book

Trigger warnings: The book deals with life under a dictatorship. There are references to torture, violence and political murder. Mild sexual references.

Amazon Rating: 4.5

About Alejandro’s Lie

Alejandro’s Lie was initially published in Dutch. Following much acclaim, it has been translated into French and now English. It is set in a fictitious South-American dictatorship in the eighties. The “junta” in this novel is a symbol for the murderous dictatorships in South-America (Chile and Argentine, to mention two) during the seventies and beginning of the eighties.

Terreno, 1983, Latin America. After a dictatorship of ten years, the brutal junta, lead by general Pelarón, seems to waver.

Consumed with guilt by the death of his friend Victor, whom he betrayed to his tormentors, Alejandro becomes the unintended center of a web of intrigue that culminates in a catastrophic insurrection, and has to choose between love and escape.

A love story, a thriller and an analysis of the mechanisms that govern a dictatorship, Alejandro’s Lie is a gripping novel about violence, betrayal, resistance, corruption, guilt and love.

Praise for Alejandro’s Lie


“Alejandro’s Lie” is a lyrical novel that will resonate with readers familiar with the history of many countries (not only South-American) that have suffered under the rule of dictatorships and corrupt governments. A gripping plot, beautifully written, filled with characters trying to remain true to themselves in impossible situations while confronting evil, which will touch the hearts of all who read it. It’s a fabulous story, full of tragedy, wonder, and magic. Amazon Review


There is a poetic quality in Bob Van Laerhoven’s prose that makes the story sing, and its romantic angle reminds me of Love in the Time of Cholera. As for the turbulent backdrop of a system that corrodes the nation, what started out as detention and torture for Alejandro has expanded into a moral dilemma that largely affects not only him but also those people who have faith in him. The choice between freedom and oppression doesn’t come easily, and the antagonists are worth noting for this. Readers Favorite

About the Author

Bob van Laerhoven is a Belgian writer and traveller whose work has been translated into most European languages, as well as Russian and Chinese.

He made his debut as a novelist in 1985 with “Nachtspel – Night Game.” He quickly became known for his colorful, kaleidoscopic novels in which the fate of the individual is closely related to broad social transformations. His style slowly evolved in his later novels to embrace more personal themes while continuing to branch out into the world at large. International flair has become his trademark.

As a travel writer he has explored conflicts and trouble-spots across the globe from the early 1990s to 2004. Echoes of his experiences on the road also trickle through in his novels. During the Bosnian war, Van Laerhoven spent part of 1992 in the besieged city of Sarajevo. Three years later he was working for MSF – Doctors without frontiers – in the Bosnian city of Tuzla during the NATO bombings.

All these experiences contribute to Bob Van Laerhoven’s rich and commendable oeuvre, as the versatile author of novels, travel stories, theatre pieces, biographies, non-fiction, letters, columns, articles…

His work has received many accolades. 

  • Most recently Alejandro’s Lie has won the award for Political Thriller of the Year 2021.
  • The Hercule Poirot Prize for best crime-novel of the year with “De Wraak van Baudelaire – Baudelaire’s Revenge”
  • Also for Baudelaire’s Revenge, the USA BEST BOOK AWARD 2014 in the category Fiction: mystery/suspense.
  • “Dangerous Obsessions” was voted “best short story collection of 2015 in The San Diego Book Review.
  • “Heart Fever” was one of the five finalists – and the only non-American author – of the Silver Falchion Award 2018 in the category “short stories collections.”
  • “Return to Hiroshima”, was listed in the top ten of international crime novels in 2018 in the British quality review blog “MurderMayhem&More”

=================================== BOOK REVIEW =========================

A haunting political thriller set in a fictional South American country. Alejandro, just freed from prison, eagerly wants to flee the country. But soon he finds himself tangled with the resistance fighters who, living under a brutal dictatorship, yearn for democracy. Beatriz, the recently divorced female protagonist, was rescued by Alejandro, soon finds herself caught in a web of romance, hatred, lust in her fight against fate caught between both sides of the political divide. The priest, a fatherly figure, tries to save the children, and in due course, ‘rescues’ the daughter of Victor Perez, lead of the legendary resistance song group, only to find she has been ‘brainwashed’ during her upbringing.

Alejandro is a flawed character, partly due to his prison experience. And it’s exactly the reason that the story development tugs at the reader’s heart strings. His songs also connects the developments from beginning to end. The reading felt very realistic and relatable. The theme of the book is heavy with its portrayal of military scenes, political agendas and rape and only intended for mature audiences.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.