Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Blood Wedding - Pierre LeMaitre

I remember seeing a film way back in the 70s by Claude Chabrol called Blood Wedding, the title was  later changed to Wedding of the Blood possibly because of the play by Federico Garcia Lorca? Naturally the title of this book, received from Real Readers, brought to mind that film. It is also a thriller but there the similarity ends.

As I began to read the opening sentences my heart sank a little as it was clearly a translation and no matter how skilful the translator is I feel that linguistically something is lost. But a few sentences more and I’d forgotten all about translations!

This book really should be accompanied by a strong warning. Unplug the phone, cancel all appointments and arrangements for you will not want to put this book down. It is a very dark, uncompromising tale which will not leave you uplifted in any way. But it is extraordinarily compelling. 

Like a coiled spring the tension unwinds relentlessly and tantalisingly. Psychological thrillers are very much in vogue but I will stick my neck out and say that this is one of the better ones. There are shades of Before I Sleep brought to mind but there is little time to focus on anything other than the writing so fast is the pace of this story.

It’s a multi styled narrative from the perspectives of the two main characters written as a direct third person narrative and also a first person diary narrative. Both work and serve to show the distinction between the two characters. 

The plot is watertight, flawless almost, and is a powerful study of revenge, obsession, control and paranoia.Arranged into three parts which parallel the three phases of the story, it’s a sound structure that works well. The characters are delicious in their deviousness!! And we, the reader, are manipulated into this dichotomous power struggle.

Move over Nordic crime! Here comes Gallic crime! And I for one cannot wait for more. 

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