The Hormone Factory

A riveting thriller about greed, power, hormones, illicit sex, and women … and the monstrous megalomaniac who believes he can have it all. Vainglorious Mordechai de Paauw is ruthless: in the years before World War II, the Dutch pharmaceutical entrepreneur is on the cutting edge of science and determined to develop the contraceptive pill… no matter what the cost. Testing hormonal treatments on his female workers, and sexually exploiting them, Mordechai’s secret immoral life and his successful company are threatened by the rise of Hitler and, years later, a shocking scandal involving his brash son. Will Mordechai ever find redemption, and will the women he manipulates regain control over their own bodies?


'The candid tongue of Motke's narration fires up this fast-paced novel, making him a character who won't soon be forgotten.' - The Skinny

“The Hormone Factory is a dark, fascinating exploration of man’s nature set during an era of exciting scientific discovery and geopolitical turmoil.” – The Lancet.

“A story written with colour and momentum.” – de Volkskrant.

“A beautiful novel about the proud tyrant De Paauw that is based on imagination, but probably contains a lot more truth than we would like.” – Brabants Dagblad.

“A gripping story in which the birth of modern medical science, the post-war explosion of wealth and the bargaining that goes on between science and commerce are brought together.” – 8Weekly.

“Goldschmidt’s narrative style is arresting, picturesque and humorous. A gripping story, which seduces the reader with wonderful sentences.” – Literair Nederland.



Publication Date

March 2016


The Hormone Factory on the Saraband Books website