Wednesday 28 March 2007

The Interpretation of Murder

The book group read The Intrepretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld this month. It was a bit of a strange book. The author is a bit of a strange bloke.

It seems like he knows quite a bit of stuff that doesn't quite fit together. So he decided to write a book and show off all that he knows in one story. So there's a little bit of Freud, a little bit of Shakespeare (Hamlet to be exact), a bit of Manhattan history and a lot of a murder mystery wihtout an actual murder. Sounds to me like this guy has got an attention span problem.

This is one of those murder mystery novels that solve the crime in the last 5 pages of the novel by telling you a whole bunch of stuff that they didn't tell you in the first place so you had no hope of solving the ending yourself. I prefer the old fashioned mystery novels that, if you were really clever and paid very close attention, you could actually solve the mystery yourself. The clues were craftily hidden thorughout the story. Not here. Loads of loose ends and irrelevant tangents. This book needed a better editor.

However, this book is a real page turner in that it does provide lots of information and it is imminently readable. I couldn't put it down. This is mostly due to the fact that I wanted to be challenged. Never quite got there.

I was extremely disappointed when I read the Author's Note at the end. This informs me that everything I've read is fiction despite the use of real people in real place during real events. He just messed around with the timings and locatins a bit. I think this is dangerous in the vein of The Da Vinci Code type dangerous. People read this stuff and they think that because Sigmund Freud is a real person then everything they read here is real too. You would be in serious trouble if you do that with the places and dates of the events presented here.

PS Welcome to D, a new member of our book group. We had a unique gathering last night in that the entire book group agreed on the opinions expressed above. I do not believe this has EVER happened before! Next month we have chosen A Sunday at the Pool in Kingali by Gil Ciourtmanche.

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