Relaxation through tension

Crime novelist Sabine Vöhringer reveals why reading is so important right now. And why a crime novel not only makes for an ideal change of pace, but also for relaxation.

Especially in turbulent times like now (#corona), it’s incredibly good to immerse yourself in a different world. One or the other may succeed in doing so with a reference book. For me, crime thrillers are pure relaxation – an adventure in a physically gentle posture…

Tension to relax

The more exciting the action, the more spellbound I am. I forget everything around me – similar to skiing on a black slope in winter. I’m highly concentrated, wanting to arrive safely at the finish line. While I race breathlessly through the story, my brain is constantly devising variations to create a meaningful context. The more actively my brain works, the more relaxed I feel. Facial expressions and muscles smooth out. Similar to yoga. Where does that come from?

Relaxation through the inner dialogue

Different functions are attributed to the right and left hemispheres of the brain. While one is devoted to scientific and logical contexts, the other specializes in the creative, linguistic, and emotional realms. The crime novel is the ideal genre to combine both. Logic, combinatorics, creativity, language and emotion.

The inner dialogue runs at full speed, both hemispheres of the brain are challenged, are under tension. One half analyzes and constructs, searches for motive and sequence of events, compares alibis and statements. The other lets itself be carried away by the language and the feeling, suffers with the acting persons, who grow more and more to the heart, and longs for justice to be restored.

Deep satisfaction

The more I am on the “right track”, the more my logic and combinatorics help me to unmask the culprit, and the more sympathetic I am to the characters, the more satisfied and balanced I am during and after reading – pure relaxation.

That I’m not alone in feeling this way can be seen in the high popularity and emotional discussion that crime novels trigger. We pick up a crime novel with a certain expectation, and that’s a good thing. Because that’s the only way a book fulfills the promise of an adventure in physical sparing. An adventure where we can grab a blanket when we get cold. And where the corners of our mouths point upward while the hero is sweating and fighting for his life.

Text: Sabine Vöhringer, Lead photo: Nathan Dunalo, Photo: Ralf Langejürgen

The book Karl Valentin is dead by Sabiene VöhringerBook Tip:

“Karl Valentin is dead” by Sabine Vöhringer

The third case for inspector Tom Perlinger

Karl Valentin (1882-1948) is one of the most influential humorists of the 20th century. Linguistic wit and a long, gaunt figure are still considered his trademarks today and led him to success far beyond Germany. The folk hero is still present in many places today. In Munich, he is memorialized by street signs, a museum and the legendary fountain at the Viktualienmarkt. Sabine Vöhringer takes up this theme in her new crime novel “Karl Valentin is Dead. In it, the Karl Valentin High School in the old town becomes the scene of a fateful arson attack. A year earlier, the school had already made the headlines due to the alleged suicide of a student. The dead man was not allowed to live out his talent as Karl Valentin. Tom Perlinger and the K12 team see a connection and start investigating. The author skilfully embeds Karl Valentin’s motifs in a modern and cleverly constructed thriller about the darker side of everyday school life, which is characterized by excessive pressure to perform and leaves little room for creativity and free development. In addition, the private lives of the investigators are not neglected.

The author

Born in Frankfurt, Sabine Vöhringer grew up near Karlsruhe, lived in southern France and studied in Pforzheim. As a graduate designer, she moved to her dream city of Munich, where the versatile entrepreneur has lived with her family for many years. The deciding factor for her series of crime novels about Chief Inspector Tom Perlinger is her soft spot for the Bavarian way of life. Her crime novels with historical references and a clear eye for the universally human are set in striking places in the old town. The first two cases in the series, “Die Montez-Juwelen” (The Montez Jewels) and “Das Ludwig Thoma Komplott” (The Ludwig Thoma Conspiracy), immediately delighted readers and the press throughout Germany. The crime novels are also available as audiobooks – “Das Ludwig Thoma Komplott” was Audiobook of the Year 2018.