tirsdag den 24. marts 2009

Tana French, Skoven (2008)

Irsk thriller-debut, 2009 reading challenge: ´murder mystery´.
Mange år før plottet i denne thriller udspiller sig, forsvandt tre irske teenagers fra deres hjemby uden for Dublin. Kun Adam bliver fundet igen, blodig og chokeret, og ude af stand til at huske, hvad der er sket.

Tyve år senere er Adam tilbage i Knocknaree-området som kriminalbetjent, nu under navnet Rob Ryan, og sammen med sin makker og nære ven, Cassie Maddox, bliver han sat på en sag om en teenagepige som er fundet myrdet på en mystisk, gammel offersten nogle få hundrede meter fra Robs barndomshjem.

Tana French har skrevet en spændende thriller med et fint plot, og det viser sig naturligvis, at Robs barndomsoplevelser får en vis betydning. Personerne er også fyldigt beskrevet, og bestemt ikke flade og kedelige. Og man kan næppe bebrejde French, at hun har skabt en noget irriterende og utroværdig, mandlig hovedperson. Til trods for sit barndomstraume fungerer Rob tilsyneladende som kriminalbetjent, som makker og i forhold til kvinder, men som han selv indleder med at forklare læseren, så skal man måske ikke stole alt for meget på, hvad han siger: ”Jeg vil råde dig til ikke at glemme, at jeg er kriminalassistent. Vores forhold til sandheden er i bund og grund fuldt af sprækker …”

Så nyd en flot og lovende debut af en forfatter, jeg bestemt gerne vil høre mere fra, også for hendes glimrende miljøbeskrivelse, men lad være med at tage alt for meget af det du får fortalt for pålydende.

Tana French, In the Woods (2007)
Irish debut, part of my 2009 Suspence and thriller reading challenge: murder mystery.
Many years before the real beginning of this plot, three Irish teenagers disappeared from their hometown outside Dublin. Only Adam reappears, bloody and in shock, unable to remember anything about what has happened.

Twenty years on, Adam Ryan is back in the Knocknaree area as a police detective, now under his middle name Rob, and together with his colleague and best friend, Cassie Maddox, he gets a case about a teenage girl who is found murdered on a mysterious, old sacrificial alter a few hundred metres from Rob´s childhood home.

Tana French has written an exciting thriller with a fine plot, and of course Rob´s childhood experiences are of a certain importance.. The characters are described in great detail and not at all flat or boring. And one can hardly blame French that she has created a somewhat annoying and incredible, male character. In spite of his childhood trauma Rob seems to function in his capacity as detective, as a partner and in his various relationships with women, but as he begins by telling the reader, one is not supposed to trust what he says, “What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with truth is fundamental but cracked …”

So enjoy a fine and promising debut by an author I should like to hear more from, also for her interesting descriptions of the Irish environment, but remember: do not trust too much of what her characters tell you!

11 kommentarer:

Anonym sagde ...

I know I don't comment on your reviews often, mostly because I never feel like I have anything useful or interesting to add about crime fiction since I don't read it much, but I do love to read them. The last line of this one, in particular, made me laugh.

Have a great day!

Maxine Clarke sagde ...

Fine review, Dorte. I had to smile when I read it, and your very nice email of earlier, because guess what book I have just sent you! There was a little space in the envelope just the right size so I popped it in, as I thought you might like it! I hope you can find a good home or use for it - and apologies for the (yet again) duplication.

Anonym sagde ...

I haven't read this book yet, but really hope to. Do you plan to read the second book?

Dorte H sagde ...

Kim, I know exactly what you mean. When I visit your blog, and Kay´s, by the way, I often read really good reviews of books which are not crime, and written by authors I don´t know - and then it IS quite difficult to come up with meaningful comments :)
From personal experience I realize how much easier it is to comment on people´s beautiful photos of spring flowers. It doesn´t matter, however, as I can see I have c 40 visitors per day, which I think is quite good for a blog as new as mine, and people do comment now and then. So I am a very happy blogger.

Kay: oh yes, I certainly do. I really think you would also enjoy this one, and also "The Coroner" which I reviewed yesterday. They are more thriller than crime novel, and of high quality.

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine, two books on their way to me! That is really something to look forward to. I am glad you liked my review (I also enjoyed your remark about Rob Ryan being ´screwed up´- very apt).
So this is really great news for two reasons:
1) you were quite right that I might like it
2) my copy is a Danish library book. They will expect me to return it in two weeks or so.
I am probably not going to reread it immediately, but I´ll enjoy trying the English version one day, so thank you so much for thinking of me again.

Bernadette sagde ...

Great review. I read this book before I started keeping notes but I do remember it being good and I did give it 4 out of 5 stars. You've reminded me to track down her second book.

Dorte H sagde ...

Thanks Bernadette.
And yes, yet another book to add to the list :)

Maxine Clarke sagde ...

The second book, incidentally, centres on Cassie - it isn't exactly a sequel as such. It is very "Barbara Vine" like. I quite enjoyed it but (1) it is far too long for its point; and (2) the plot depended on two big coincidences - one, OK, but two? It was readable enough, I think, but insufficiently original (ag A Fatal Inversion) for its size....I would prefer the author to go back to police procedurals, as in In the Woods, as I think that is where she's strongest. Just my opinion, would not be everyone's.

Dorte H sagde ...

After the ending of the first one, one could hardly expect her to let Cassie and Rob work together, I think.
As long as it is better than Elizabeth George, I will at least keep it on my library list. I see you actually finished it after all :)

Anonym sagde ...

I'll be reading this soon! Just thot you should know... I'll come back and read your review (and link) after, OK? :)

Dorte H sagde ...

Care: that is fine! - and I will add a link to your review.
I hope you are going to enjoy the book.