"People saw only her cracked lips and filthy hair. Edging away from the repulsive bundle in her hands and her sleeves stained brown by dried blood, th...more"People saw only her cracked lips and filthy hair. Edging away from the repulsive bundle in her hands and her sleeves stained brown by dried blood, they didn't see a fever ravaged fellow human in need. They didn't see a person falling to pieces."
Disgrace is the second in the Department Q series, following the prequel Mercy. It is everything that those who love Nordic crime could desire: tension, suffering, action and mystery. We follow Detective Carl Mørck through the investigation to solve six murders accompanied by his loyal and somewhat inept assistant, Assad. We follow Kimmie who has assumed the identity of a homeless woman because that is the only choice left to her by those more powerful than she. And we follow with mounting horror the antics of her former classmates: Ditlev, Kristian, Torsten, Ulrick and Bjarne. These prestigious business men hide a gruesome past behind a facade of success in modern day Copenhagen. But they cannot escape being the hunted, when once they were the hunters.
I found this little Penguin paperback, of only 152 pages, while I was attending the Classical Pursuits program in Toronto. It was on one of the hall t...moreI found this little Penguin paperback, of only 152 pages, while I was attending the Classical Pursuits program in Toronto. It was on one of the hall tables bearing a sign, "Take One, Leave One," thereby encouraging readers to share their books. Because it was thin, because I was curious about two teenage girls who seem to be spying on someone's house, I took it home.
A bold and bossy Harriet has a loyal follower in her friend, of whose name we're never sure as the story is told in first person through her eyes. We only see that this friend is stout, clumsy, and so enraptured by Harriet, and what she says, that she follows Harriet's every plan.
This summer, Harriet has decided that they will "humble the Tsar", a meek and married man with whom our narrator becomes purposefully involved. They are two thirteen year old girls, who have little idea of the repercussions their behavior would have. The results of their game with the Tsar has disastrous results, and the reader is left wondering if perhaps youth is not so innocent after all.
The novel is written under an exquisite shroud of sorts, slowly revealing each facet of the plot such that one discovers this novel is actually a horror story. I found Beryl Bainbridge to resemble Daphne du Maurier, and even Shirley Jackson, by taking ordinary themes and making them dark and terrible. Some reviewers have called it an "evocation of childhood", but I would go so far as naming it what it is: wicked manipulation. It would make a perfect autumnal read. (less)
I don’t even think I can come close to describing how powerful this novel is, how very much I love it. I feel like I know Khosi. He is painted him so...more I don’t even think I can come close to describing how powerful this novel is, how very much I love it. I feel like I know Khosi. He is painted him so perfectly, and he is so winsome, that I’m glad I was able to spend a few days with him in my living room. The dialogue is fresh, and witty, yet at the same time it touches the reader’s soul. Because ultimately? I think we all search for understanding of our past. I think we all love our parents No Matter What. Thank you, Pauls, for this very special novel.(less)