Five teenagers drive to a house out in the country in order to study for their final exams. On the way, they pick up a young hitchhiker who rubs their nerves so raw that they desert him at the gas station and throw his bag out the window. A fateful mistake. Because next morning, the hitchhiker is standing at the front door – accompanied by two young men.
They force their way into the house and start terrorizing the teenagers.

A perfidious game of power, dark and oppressive.


The suspenseful situation in your new YA novel is similar to that of a stage play. How did you decide on this setting, this construction?
The chamber play was part of the idea from the beginning: that protected space someone with an axe to grind forces his way into.
I’d sketched out the material years ago for a film that was to be produced on a shoestring. Later, when I was writing the book, I modified the story again; I wanted it to have the overtones of a Gothic novel, those dark notes. And I didn’t want it to have a “YA-book” resonance.
The chamber play frame helped me to concentrate on the most important things. I was able to write a “pared-down” book, without a lot of fuss and flourish.

Your story touches on many basic questions of ethics and philosophy. In one sentence, can you sum up the question that was uppermost in your mind when writing the story?
The story is also an exercise in thought about how we ourselves would behave under conditions of violence and terror. Just how sturdy is the crust of civilization on which we tread? And in another respect, the book is an attempt to explore the source of good and the nature of evil.
Veering between horror and fascination. And without coming to a definitive – let alone redemptive – answer.

Your readers have to deal with the fact that there is no satisfying answer to why these events run their horrifying course. What would you like your readers to take away from this?Above all a gripping story. The answer to the question of “why” is, for me, in the title. The apodictic “because.” Full stop. Because that often is the “logic” of evil: the ostensibly irrefutable reason for something for which there is no reason. Arguments play no role here. I’m not even certain there is such a thing as evil per se. It’s more like the death, so to speak, of exchange-based communication. This evil then just does its thing – completely without empathy. And we stand around asking ourselves how we should behave