fredag den 27. februar 2009

Peter Robinson, Et spor af ild (2007).

"Jeg var på den tredje sovepille og det andet glas whisky, da han bankede på min dør. Jeg ved ikke, hvorfor jeg overhovedet åbnede den. Jeg havde overgivet mig selv til min skæbne og arrangeret alting således, at jeg så fredfyldt og behageligt som muligt kunne forlade denne verden, og der var ingen, der ville begræde min bortgang."

Men selvfølgelig bliver den mystiske, suicidale person afbrudt i sit forehavende. En gæst fra fortiden iført ulasteligt Hugo Boss-jakkesæt med en flaske i den ene hånd kan tilbyde ´et lille stykke arbejde´, tilmed ´et indbringende et af slagsen´. Først troede jeg, den whiskydrikkende sortseer var detektiven. Der kunne såmænd nemt have været tale om en type som skotske Inspector Rebus eller norske Harry Hole, men til trods for sin forkærlighed for Laphroaig, ser det ud til, at chefkriminalinspektør Alan Banks har nogenlunde styr på sit whiskyforbrug.

Banks og hans trofaste højre hånd gennem fjorten krimier, den stærkt forkølede kriminalinspektør Annie Cabbot, har tidligere haft en affære, og interesserer sig stadig i påfaldende grad for hinandens gøren og laden. Er det for eksempel jalousi, der får Banks til at holde så grundigt øje med Cabbots nye kæreste?

Banks og Cabbot kommer på overarbejde straks ved bogens start i forbindelse med en voldsom brand på et par flodpramme, som har kendt bedre tider. Den purunge stofmisbruger Tina og kunstneren Tom, som lever som besættere på hver sin båd, omkommer begge i flammerne. Er der tale om mordbrand, og i så fald, hvem af dem var det tilsigtede offer?

Plottet udvikler sig fint; alle vidner opfører sig naturligvis suspekt, og Robinson har tydeligvis sat sig grundigt ind i emnet brandefterforskning. Af og til har han dog en tendens til at overforklare (pædagogiske demonstrationer af viden som læseren ikke nødvendigvis har brug for). Krimien er dog på alle måder gennemtænkt og tilpas spændende hele vejen igennem.

Om man så synes om det ofte tilbagevende tema i krimiserier: langtidsforviklinger mellem den mandlige og kvindelige hovedperson, det er selvfølgelig en smagssag.

Til slut en bemærkning om sproget: det er min fornemmelse, at Peter Robinson skriver glimrende engelsk, men oversættelsen lyder ofte kunstig og ligefrem komisk:
"Vi kommer til at ville tale med dig igen snart."
"Ringer den beskrivelse en klokke?"
"Winsome var den eneste, som spiste med eftertrykkelighed"

Ærgerligt, at den slags skal forstyrre en ellers udmærket læseoplevelse. Jeg skal helt sikkert prøve Peter Robinson igen - på engelsk!

Peter Robinson, Playing with Fire (2004)
"I was on the third sleeping pill and the second glass of whisky when he knocked on my door. I don´t know why I opened it at all. I had surrendered to my fate and arranged everything so I could leave this world as peacefully and comfortably as possible, and no one would lament my departure."

But of course the mysterious, suicidal person is interrupted in his project. A guest from the past, dressed in an immaculate Hugo Boss suit with a bottle in his hand, has come to offer ´a little job´ which should even be ´a lucrative one´. First I thought the whisky-drinking pessimist might be the detective. It certainly looked like another Inspector Rebus or Harry Hole type (Jo Nesbo´s protagonist), but in spite of his love of Laphroaig, it seems that detective chief inspector Alan Banks is able to control his consumption of liquor.

Inspector Banks´ faithful sidekick throughout fourteen crime novels, detective inspector Annie Cabbot, is also his former lover, but have they really got over this? One wonders, as Banks cannot help keeping an eye on Annie and her private affairs.

Banks and Cabbot are thrown into overwork right from the beginning in connection with a violent fire on two worn-out canal barges. The young drug addict Tina and the artist Tom who squat on each their boat are killed in the flames. Is this arson, and if so, who was the intended victim? The plot is developed expertly, all the witnesses behave suspiciously, and Robinson has evidently studied the investigation of fire thoroughly. Now and then he shows a tendency to overexplain (demonstrations of knowledge the reader does not necessarily need). Yet the crime novel is well thought out and suitably exciting all the way through. Whether one likes the recurrent theme in crime series: long-term complications between the male and female protagonist is a question of personal taste, of course.

Finally a comment on the language: my feeling is that good language is lurking behind a translation which has its moments - of involuntary humour and unidiomatic dialogue. I am certainly going to revisit Peter Robinson´s universe, but in English!

6 kommentarer:

Kerrie sagde ...

Peter Robinson seems to be someone I always enjoy. He is a good speaker too

Beth F sagde ...

Interesting! A new author for me. Sounds like something I'd like.

Sherrie sagde ...

Hi!
Sounds like a great book! I'll have to put this on my list of books to find! Thanks for the review. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great evening!

Sherrie

Dorte H sagde ...

I am certainly going to read more of him. So now the problem is: should I begin from scratch with the first ones in the series, or just continue from here? I think it is so difficult to decide, especially because he has written so many.

krimileser sagde ...

Dorte,

I like reading Robinson, but not so much, that I would read all the books from the beginning in a row. But whatever you do, if you want to read books by Robinson you shouldn't miss "In a Dry Season".

Dorte H sagde ...

Thank you Bernd.
It is always good to know if some of them stand out :)