Benjamin Toullon arrives at the hospital with a mask on his face and he’s not willing to take it off. A young resident psychiatrist, who’s on duty, takes him as her patient. Soon, when he starts telling his story, she finds out how he met Helene, how he was her ‘entretenu’, and how shallow he was since they started a relationship. He didn’t love Helene, but he loved her pampering him. During their winter ski holiday, their car breaks and the shelter they find, along with its inhabitants, is quite peculiar and uninviting. However, they are fed, accommodated, and promised to have their car fixed. The atmosphere changes when the couple feels that something is not right with the place and these people.
When Benjamin discovers a cave, he has no time to put things together because Mr. Steiner is there to tell him what the cave serves for. And that is to steal the beauty of young women, who don’t deserve to be seen and relish in being admires and fallen in love with just because of their appearance.
This is the 4th novel by Bruckner and it’s the 3rd time when his sick imagination and brilliant exaggerating manner astonishes me. I won’t stop being curious of what else he’s capable of conceiving.