The first season of The Sinner (2017) was based on a novel and was advertised as a limited run (aka, a mini-series). It was since renewed for a second season and is being described as an "anthology series" meaning a single season tells a full story but doesn't necessarily have any connection to characters or events from previous seasons.

My question is: Is season 2 also based on a novel, and if so, which one?

1 Answer 1


No, it is not. It's also not based on ANY of Hammesfahr's other novels. It's an original story.

However, it should be noted that The Sinner is a hybrid anthology series that's using Detective Ambrose as story axle character. Season two features him working on a new case, while also diving more into his own childhood. According to this article:

It looks like the second season of the USA show will be entirely original. Showrunner and executive producer Derek Simonds did not base the new season on any particular true story, or on any of Hammesfahr's other novels. It's possible that details might be reminiscent of actual cases since true crime is so prevalent that commonalities are hard to avoid, but the goal wasn't to take inspiration from outside sources.

And confirmed by an interview with Executive Producer Derek Simonds via Variety

The first season of USA psychological crime thriller “The Sinner” took its story, structure and tone from Petra Hammesfahr’s novel. But the second season is its own, completely original mystery.

Without a pre-existing plot to follow, Derek Simonds created a new story about why someone would commit a seemingly unprovoked murder. This time the culprit is a 13-year-old boy Julian (played by Elisha Henig), and it’s clear from the start that he is guilty. The show follows the first season’s structure of unraveling the complicated reasons behind the crime, a similarity Simonds wanted to echo intentionally.


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