Karen's Reviews > Close Up

Close Up by Esther Verhoef
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Aug 18, 11

bookshelves: crime, european
Read from April 07 to 18, 2011

There's something about the blurb to this book that seems to suggest that it's tending towards a romance. If that's what you're looking for, you might want to consider your options. Whilst we're talking relationship here, we're also talking manipulation, need, dependencies and some really really nasty behaviour.

It's not just the possibility of overt romance that could put a reader off - there's Margot herself. At the beginning of the book she's starting out after a relationship that obviously controlled her, set her life's path. She comes across as one of those slightly wet women - shy, self-conscious, little bit overweight, somebody who is finally starting to take some control of her own life until she meets yet another man. Leon is obviously a shady character, and there's a strange sensation that there can only be one reason why a man like him would be intested in a woman like her. There's a dreadful feeling of the inevitable about the whole thing.

But something happens as you press on into this book, at some stage you start to get a sneaking suspicion that something's not quite as it originally seems. Your perceptions of everybody and everything are slowly twisted, gently rolled sideways.

CLOSE-UP sort of snuck up on me a bit, in the early stages I was fully expecting to dislike it, the premise, Leon, Margot and just about everybody else in the thing. Somewhere along the line something changed and, to be brutally honest, I've still got absolutely no idea how this author did that. It's not the fastest paced thriller in the world, it is almost laconic in a way - perhaps that's part of the way that things sort of sneak up on you, but add to that an ending that I simply did not see coming and CLOSE-UP was quite a surprise package.
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04/07/2011 page 58
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