Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Reading matters

I have a very strange reading week behind me. I had picked up the Val McDermid book after one of the staff at the Hugendubel store (again I must again stress how wonderful their English language branch in Munich is) reckoned it would correspond with my reading preferences which she by now knows pretty well.

The back cover blurb spoke of intrigue with a university setting and of a protagonist called Charlie Flint. So far so good.

Now it was not that much of a shock to learn in the early pages that Charlie Flint is a lesbian lady. Reading further I quickly became aware that most of the other main characters were also of the sisterhood and none seemed particularly happy. In fact they all appeared terribly conflicted in one way or another and I began to have great difficulty in telling them apart.

Now it so happened that when I bought the McDermid I also picked up a Jeffery Deaver. And perhaps a quarter of the way into McDermid book, defeated by the murk of the sapphic swamp, daunted by the queer quagmire of an Oxford women's college, I took refuge in a reliably suspenseful tale of dangerous doings in Manhattan. It wasn't a great read, and I probably learned more than I ever wanted to know about quadriplegics because The Burning Wire is one of Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme series. But it filled a couple of evenings.

The following evening I realized too late that I should have gone to Hugendubel for new reading matter. And then I thought that perhaps I should give Trick of the Dark another try. And now, suddenly, I found myself able to tell the various ladies apart as the intrigues became deeper and deeper. In the end it was a most rewarding read, marred only by the fact that I correctly identified the true villain of the piece by the half-way point.


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