tirsdag den 10. maj 2011

Q is for Quest


[The alphabet in crime meme is hosted by Kerrie]

I suppose you could say most crime fiction is about a quest, yet the feeling is much stronger in some stories than in others. Today, I have selected three (or four) novels for you, in which children are on a quest.

My first example is Alan Bradley´s "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". Here eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce stumbles on a body among the cucumbers. Soon she realizes that the police suspect her kind, yet somewhat absent-minded father. Flavia knows he is too impractical to be able to save himself so she embarks on a quest to find the real murderer. 

In "Blacklands", Belinda Bauer´s dark but excellent debut, young Steven knows he has to find the remains of his murdered uncle. A black shadow has haunted the whole family ever since Billy disappeared nearly twenty years ago, but Steven is certain that once he has found the body, his mother and grandmother will get some kind of closure and be able to get on with their lives.

In James W. Nichol´s "Midnight Cab" the main character is grown-up, but only just. Walker leaves his adopted family as soon as possible, not because he doesn´t love them but because he must find the mother who left him by the road when he was only three years old. Knowing about his past is such an important part of his identity that he risks everything to find the truth.

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Two-Sentence Tuesday 
[Hosted by Women of Mystery]

Three brilliant stories, all strongly recommended, and here you have a bit from my own "Crystal Nights", a Danish novel I am currently editing & translating into English. As I told you Friday, I received a rejection last week, but I have tried to tackle it as well as I could - by writing. The main part of the story is set in the 1960s and deals with a loyal and determined boy´s quest to find his best friend.

- Sonja Jensen left her flat Wednesday morning to go to work in Hjørring, and since then no one has seen ten-year-old Lars-Ole Jensen. Mrs Nielsen in the flat downstairs believes she heard him leave around ten o´clock, but more than forty-eight hours have gone so every minute counts. Holst paused to let the message sink in.

What is your favourite crime story or thriller which includes a quest? 

12 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Oh, those two lines of yours are intriguing! And you made an excellent choice for the letter "Q." I really like it. When I read your post, I was thinking of thirteen-year-old Maggie Spence's quest to find her father in Elizabeth George's Missing Joseph. And there's Carla Lemarchant's quest to prove her mother's innocence in Agatha Christie's Five Little Pigs. There are a lot more, too; those are just the first two that occurred to me. Interesting topic!

Bernadette sagde ...

Excellent choice for Q, cannot think of another example off the top of my head though.

....Petty Witter sagde ...

What great choices - I especially loved The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.

Louise sagde ...

De lyder virkelig spændende alle tre. Det er ikke godt med alle de bøger - min liste over bøger, jeg gerne vil læse, er snart så lang, at jeg har stof til de næste mange, mange årtier!

Leah J. Utas sagde ...

My interest is piqued.

Kelly sagde ...

Hard to pick a specific book! I do love Flavia and the more you speak of "Blacklands" the more anxious I am to read my copy!

I'm thinking perhaps one of the Matthew Shardlake novels. I always enjoy his quest for the truth.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: I am finding it so much easier to write about themes rather than writers for the alphabet meme :)
Maggie Spence is a great example!

Bernadette: thank you.

Tracy: Flavia is great; I´ll read the second in the series soon.

Louise: de er rigtig gode, hver på deres måde.

Leah: thank you.

Kelly: Flavia is fun, Blacklands is more sinister so for me it depends on what mood I am in.
I don´t know Matthew Shardlake; perhaps that is something I should remedy :)

Kelly sagde ...

Matthew Shardlake is a wonderful sleuth (a lawyer), but he lives in Tudor England and I know you prefer more modern settings. Still..maybe you should give the series a try!
I can thank Tracy for introducing him to me.

Yvette sagde ...

Good choices, Dorte. I've read only one: THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE and loved that.
Good luck in your writing, by the way.

Dorte H sagde ...

Kelly, I do, but sometimes I can be persuaded ;)

Yvette: I am looking forward to the next Flavia story. And thank you!

Beth F sagde ...

I loved the first Flavia! I don't know why I haven't read more.

Dorte H sagde ...

Beth: We only got the second and the third two weeks ago, and as they were my daughter´s birthday gifts, I thought I´d better let her read them first ;)