16 Following


Currently reading

The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur Indriðason, Bernard Scudder When I was a teenager, I was a big fan of detective novels, to the effect that I was contemplating the possibility of joining the Police force. I was even conducting my own investigations. When I was around 14, I liked a boy from church who was older than me. I found out his name, where he lived, that he had a sister and other information. I even followed him once. Then, one Sunday after the sermon, I approached him and blurted out everything I had found out about him. I remember I was awfully dressed, with a pair of woolen stockings that wrinkled around my knees. Maybe it was the first time I became aware of my clothes. To my surprise, the boy - Octavian, I remember his name even now - was not shocked by my boldness, instead he was very kind and asked what my name was. Nothing romantic came out of that encounter, but we remained friends.
That's the way I was and I don't think I've changed too much over the years. I still like to fit pieces together, make connections and understand things. But one thing I stopped doing was following boys.

That's not a proper review for this book, I know. The point is that I used to love detective novels in my youth. I haven't revisited the genre for quite a long time, but now I'm set upon finding some good such literature that could entertain me when I'm tired or stressed out. I want to get back that wonderful feeling when I was engrossed in a captivating investigation, red in the face with too much tension, oblivious to everything around me, even pretending to be sick so that I could skip school, stay home and read. Well, I'm aware that I might not get that feeling back, as I'm grown up now. But still, there is hope.

Arnaldur Indriðason's novels are moderately good, the cases are puzzling and the investigation procedures keep me interested. I also prick my ears at every mention of Iceland and its people, because I have a genuine interest in this country. Indriðason's novels are not what I'm looking for, though, because there is no great tension, no shocking conclusion and - what bothers me the most - there are other layers to the story that I'm not really interested in, mainly the insights into the detectives' personal life. Honestly, they are boring. Still, these parts are way better than what I've found in Camilla Läckberg's [b:The Hidden Child|10868182|The Hidden Child (Patrik Hedström, #5)|Camilla Läckberg|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1349028349s/10868182.jpg|1600165], which was a kind of soap opera. If you have some expectations from literature, please stay away from Camilla Läckberg!

The two stars reflect my interest in only 1/3 of the novel, which dealt with the investigative part. One third was about events that happened long ago - a depressing account of an Icelandic family who had to put up with physical and mental abuse from a monster of a husband and father. This part was heart-wrenching and I couldn't bear it in its entirety, so I mostly read between the lines. The remaining 1/3 of the novel was about the detectives' personal lives, which I found rather boring, so I mostly subjected them to quick-reading techniques. The layers were interspersed, which made the actual plot thin and diluted.

My request to you, the ones who read detective novels, is to recommend me good books that mainly deal with cases, investigations and with a plot that truly builds tension. I want to get that feeling back and I'm really getting frustrated that I can't! Or maybe I should learn to get over it...