Member Loginmenu
The Hitchhiker

The Hitchhiker

Gerwin van der Werf

  • awardShortlisted, Best International Crime Fiction, Ned Kelly Awards, 2023
  • Translated by David Colmer

    Believe it or not, I was convinced this holiday would save my marriage.

    Tiddo and his wife, Isa, have drifted apart. They don’t make love anymore. Tiddo even finds their thirteen-year-old son, Jonathan, a stranger—quiet, distant and forever drawing monstrous creatures in his sketchbook.

    Desperate to keep his family together, Tiddo plans a holiday to Iceland, travelling the tourist circuit in a rented campervan. On their trip, they pick up a hitchhiker named Svein, who is tall and handsome, and covered in tattoos of ancient runes. When Svein offers to guide them off the beaten track, Tiddo is conflicted. Does Svein pose a threat or offer salvation?

    This psychological thriller unfolds like a fever dream amid the breathtaking beauty of Iceland, but the environment turns out to be as unforgiving as each decision Tiddo makes. Taut and compelling, The Hitchhiker is the story of a man who goes to great lengths to save what he has already lost.


    Canberra Times    
    Glam Adelaide    
    Radio NZ: Nine to Noon     
    Readings: Gift ideas for Fathers who enjoy crime fiction    

    About the Author

    Gerwin van der Werf is a musicologist, teacher and regular columnist for the Dutch newspaper Trouw. His novel Wild was longlisted for the Libris Literature Prize. The Hitchhiker is his fourth novel.

    Read Moreright
    About the Translator

    David Colmer has translated almost ninety works of Dutch literature and has won many prizes for his translations, including the Vondel Prize, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the NSW Premier’s Award.

    Read Moreright
    Text publication date:
    5 July 2022
    AU Price:
    NZ Price:
    Loading Rating
    Praise for Gerwin van der Werf
    andThe Hitchhiker

    ‘Immersive and thoroughly satisfying.’

    ‘A father on the edge…Flashes of Breaking Bad.’

    ‘A page turner…certainly got me questioning who to trust.’

    ‘A taut, psychologically lush, and utterly fulfilling novel, with narrative echoes of an old Icelandic saga…This is that rare beast: a work of literary fiction that will also satisfy the lovers of thrillers and crime fiction.’

    ‘The popular Dutch author captures the majesty and menace of the glacial landscape in a compelling psychological drama.’

    ‘A memorable and disturbing psychological thriller, set against the backdrop of the unique and often dangerous landscape of Iceland…A remarkable achievement.’

    Other editions ofThe Hitchhiker