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“In this intelligent novel Hammesfahr has etched with precision the thoughts of a woman on the edge of madness.”—Der Spiegel Cora Bender killed a man. But why? What could have caused this quiet, lovable young mother to stab a stranger in the throat, again and again, until she was pulled off his body? For the local police it was an open-and-shut case. Cora confessed; there was no shortage of proof or witnesses. But Police Commissioner Rudolf Grovian refused to close the file and began his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into a woman’s private hell. Hailed as Germany’s Patricia Highsmith, Petra Hammesfahr has written a dark, spellbinding novel. At the top of the bestseller list, The Sinner has been reprinted sixteen times and sold over 760,000 copies at home. Translated into eleven languages, this is the first Hammesfahr title published in English. Petra Hammesfahr, born in 1951, left school at thirteen, became pregnant by an alcoholic at seventeen, and began writing novels at the age of forty. Her first thriller was turned down 159 times, but eventually success arrived. Hammesfahr has written over twenty crime and suspense novels. She also writes scripts for television and film. She is married with three children and lives near Cologne.
Psychological thriller. The women look so alike: it must be an opportunity for easy money.
Quantitative thinking is our inclination to view natural and everyday phenomena through a lens of measurable events, with forecasts, odds, predictions, and likelihood playing a dominant part. The Error of Truth recounts the astonishing and unexpected tale of how quantitative thinking came to be, and its rise to primacy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Additionally, it considers how seeing the world through a quantitative lens has shaped our perception of the world we live in, and explores the lives of the individuals behind its early establishment. This worldview was unlike anything humankind had before, and it came about because of a momentous human achievement: we had learned how to measure uncertainty. Probability as a science was conceptualised. As a result of probability theory, we now had correlations, reliable predictions, regressions, the bellshaped curve for studying social phenomena, and the psychometrics of educational testing. Significantly, these developments happened during a relatively short period in world history— roughly, the 130-year period from 1790 to 1920, from about the close of the Napoleonic era, through the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolutions, to the end of World War I. At which time, transportation had advanced rapidly, due to the invention of the steam engine, and literacy rates had increased exponentially. This brief period in time was ready for fresh intellectual activity, and it gave a kind of impetus for the probability inventions. Quantification is now everywhere in our daily lives, such as in the ubiquitous microchip in smartphones, cars, and appliances; in the Bayesian logic of artificial intelligence, as well as applications in business, engineering, medicine, economics, and elsewhere. Probability is the foundation of quantitative thinking. The Error of Truth tells its story— when, why, and how it happened.

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