The Invisible Brothers

Aust, Kurt: De usynlige brødre

... was Newton a member of a secret society? And does it kill you if you unravel this secret?

A woman kills herself at a Parisian street café. In front of a group of shocked guests she puts a pistol in her mouth and pulls the trigger.

Mai-Britt Fossen was a publishing editor in Oslo, married and mother of two small children. She also had an ex-husband, Even Vik, a professor of mathematics.

Despite the fact that they were divorced five years previously, Even Vik has never stopped loving Mai-Britt. He becomes increasingly convinced that she did not kill herself of her own free will. He travels to Paris and discovers that Mai-Britt was writing a book about Isaac Newton, and that she has left behind a trail of secret messages and codes – codes which can only be solved with the sharp mind of a mathematician. As Even manages to unravel the mystery, he realizes that Mai-Britt was on the track of Newton’s well-kept secrets. But why did she have to sacrifice her life for her newly acquired knowledge of the great scientist?

Kurt Aust is renowned for his historical crime novels featuring professor Thomas of Boueberge and his assistant Petter Hortten. The Invisible Brothers is set in the present, and the author reveals one of his specialities – codes and the infinite possibilities of numbers.

Click here for English sample translation

Praise for The Invisible Brothers:

"Suspenseful conspiracy-thriller about mathematics and old secrets … Kurt Aust succeeds in every way in The Invisible Brothers. Without rushing in any way he builds a story which becomes more and more eerie"

"A troubled mathematician, an impossible suicide. Secret societies and heaps of prime numbers. What more could your heart desire? … even after 500 pages I wonder what will happen next to my new favourite professor Even Vik"
(Dagens Næringsliv)

"Masterly good writing-craft makes this semi-historical enigma-novel interesting ...The novel [gives] intelligent and fresh readingtime for mysterylovers … The book offers lots of snacks for numberfanatics and codelovers"

Oh yes, the crime mystery The Invisible Brothers has what it takes and more than that … The Invisible Brothers is entertaining all the way … Let’s hope that we haven’t heard the last of Even Vik, our both wise and violent rascal from Oslo, who can headbutt here, slap a few faces there, and conquer a lovely woman, who even though she offers herself to him and lets him have his way with her, still proves to be as fatal as strychnine on a harmless piece of toast.
(Bo Tao Michaëlis, Politiken, Denmark)

Those who are looking for new, sensational revelations about Newton will be disappointed by this book. The one who turns out to be the real mystery of the book is Even, which is no mean feat. Through Aust’s writing, the number-crazy and witty mathematician is brought under the reader’s skin, and as his history and past is revealed, Even gradually steals the show from Newton. The book changes into a thrilling love story about finding the courage to live.
(Mette Strømfeldt, Berlingske Tidene, Denmark)

The Invisible Brothers is first and foremost a exciting novel which is hard to put down. The language flows easily, and you move quickly through time and space. One moment you’re in today’s Oslo, the next you’re in 17th century England. Danish-born Kurt Aust executes his story very well, so if you’re into mysterious crime novels, this book must be the next on your crime-list.
( Marie Mærsk,, Denmark)

First published: 2006, Aschehoug Fiction

Kurt Aust: Bibliography and Biography

Rights sold to

Language Foreign publisher
Bulgarian Perseus
Danish Klim
Dutch A.W. Bruna
French City Editions
German Rowohlt
Korean Randomhouse Korea
Russian Arabesque
Spanish Destino

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