Ian's Reviews > Up Close

Up Close by Henriette Gyland
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it was amazing
bookshelves: a-audiobook, b-favorites, b-five-star, g-romantic-suspense, g-mystery, t-small-town
Recommended to Ian by: Jill
Recommended for: lovers of Daphne du Maurier and Alfred Hitchcock movies

After the death of her grandmother, Lia returns to her childhood home to settle the estate. But as she is putting her grandmother's affairs in order she starts to suspect that her death was not an accident. As she investigates she grows closer to Aidan a former Navy clearance diver.

Aidan has his own agenda. He is determined to bring the Ministry of Defense to account for the death of his brother, but his methods could bring the law crashing down on him, and Lia soon realises he could well have been involved in the death of her grandmother.

With the whole town guarding their secrets Lia doesn't know who she can turn to and as she pulls at the threads of the truth, a faceless killer is stalking her.

description

Up Close is reminiscent of those great Alfred Hitchcock movies of the 1930s and '40s. A lot of authors try to imbue their books with that feel but very few authors actually succeed. Henriette Gyland has succeeded –– well and truly so. I was constantly reminded of Rebecca, Gaslight and perhaps even The Birds (another movie based on a Daphne du Maurier story).

This book is brooding, dark and edge of your seat all at once. Quite an amazing accomplishment.
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Reading Progress

July 22, 2014 – Started Reading
July 22, 2014 – Shelved
July 26, 2014 – Shelved as: a-audiobook
July 26, 2014 – Shelved as: b-favorites
July 26, 2014 – Shelved as: b-five-star
July 26, 2014 – Shelved as: g-romantic-suspense
July 26, 2014 – Shelved as: g-mystery
July 26, 2014 – Shelved as: t-small-town
July 27, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen Fantastic review, Ian. I'm more than ready for this type of story and I'm adding!


message 2: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Great review Ian!! Sounds really intriguing!!!


message 3: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Thank you Jen / Karen.


message 4: by ᴥ Irena ᴥ (new)

ᴥ Irena ᴥ Great review, Ian.


message 5: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Thank you Irena.


message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle [Helen Geek] How do you pack such punch in so few words? Excellent review! Wish I liked books like these. You'd make me want to read it -- if I did.


message 7: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I used to read mysteries all the time, not sure why I stopped. Your review makes me really wonder why? This sounds really good.


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle [Helen Geek] Vicki wrote: "I used to read mysteries all the time, not sure why I stopped. Your review makes me really wonder why? This sounds really good."

Me too. I think it just stopped wanting to think as I read. Know? I want a "smack in your face -- no thought required" type of read anymore. Maybe when I retire. With me mis-spent youth and then my crazy 30's -- my available brain space is almost non-existent and my patience is nil.


message 9: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I think you might be right...I read for the pure entertainment value right now. It's just 'where I am' in life.

Michelle wrote: " I think it just stopped wanting to think as I read."


message 10: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Thank you Tuelle. Ninja Vicki, it is quite good.


message 11: by Christina ~ Brunette Reader (last edited Jul 31, 2014 08:08PM) (new) - added it

Christina ~ Brunette Reader Beautiful review, Ian and I love the pic you chose, I recognised she's from Rossellini's "Stromboli" (view spoiler), but the photomontaged background and her pensive expression are perfect to convey a kind of '40s gothic atmosphere.
This is the same author from The Highwayman's Daughter so I guess the book is the RS Jill's was talking about.
Truly reminiscent of Du Maurier + Hitchcock, you say? = added it pronto.


message 12: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Christina ~ Brunette Reader wrote: "Ian and I love the pic you chose, I recognised she's from Rosselini's "Stromboli"

Thank you Christina.

I'm impressed that you caught that one. Ingrid Bergman is beautiful and I love that image...I was actually tempted to leave the three women in background almost like ghosts that you wouldn't notice, but I thought that was too ambiguous.


message 13: by Christina ~ Brunette Reader (last edited Jul 27, 2014 03:17PM) (new) - added it

Christina ~ Brunette Reader Thank you, Ian, but I have simply watched the movie more than once, if not recently, as it's a classic of neo-realism... and I am, let's say, "trained" at remembering and reading images.
It's easy to see the image is a collage as the lightning of the background and the play of shadows and lights on her face (I would use the term chiaroscuro) cannot come from the same source, but precisely thanks to the contrast you have created the image is even more disquieting and thus fitting the book's atmosphere. I think the three women in mourning in the background could have been apt as ghosts, but as you said their meaning could be confused, perhaps with witches. I think the only dissonant element would have been the blinding south Mediterranean light reflected on the whitewash of the buildings... not very gothic or noir-ish, at least not in the common imaginary. You have a wonderful taste for images :)


message 14: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Christina ~ Brunette Reader wrote: "I think the only dissonant element would have been the blinding south Mediterranean light reflected on the whitewash of the buildings... not very gothic or noir-ish, at least not in the common imaginary. "

You have a good eye, what sort of training are you talking about? I tend to not play around too much with images...the more you do the less real they look. I only really adjusted the contrast on Ingrid Bergman and blurred her hair a little at the edges.


message 15: by Christina ~ Brunette Reader (last edited Jul 27, 2014 10:40PM) (new) - added it

Christina ~ Brunette Reader It's nothing special, it's just that with the past studies I've made (art history at uni), I've been taught how to "deconstruct" images in my mind to "read" them and I tend to do it instinctively since then. I look at a pic or painting and I ask myself about the lighting source (if it's natural or artificial and its direction), the perspective (if it's rational or irrational, central or skewed), if the image is constructed by design, by light or by colour sections and I try to trace its "tension lines", invisible braces determining the structure and the balance between empty and full spaces, light masses and dark masses, the logic in the distribution of the figures and volumes scheme.
You did all this too in your pic: pyramidal light figure in the middle with two dark parallelepipeds at the sides that absorb said light mass "balancing" its weight. The diagonal flight (that's a tension line) of the horizontal bar of the gate gives depth to the two-dimensional image creating a second parallel plane of representation other than the close-up one. The vertical line running over her face dividing the shadowed from the illuminated part placed more or less in correspondence with the central axis (main tension line) of the pic obtaining two perfectly symmetrical sections... and you did a very natural thing as the human eye tends toward symmetry much more than we realise (esp in western culture, even if art has abandoned many canons after 1900, but for specific historical and sociological reasons, not because our vision has changed).
I pointed out the jarring effect those white walls would have had because I ventured in interpreting what you wanted to convey and I think you did a great job there too: I like how the cemeterial gloomy background contrasts with the glow emanating from her figure and how the lights and shadows on her face echo the ones created by the backlit branches and gate against the foggy white sky. Light/dark, life/death, safety/threat.
... And I'm trained to quickly memorize images, it sort of becomes natural after you had to do it to pass exam after exam where they showed you a painting/sculpture/architecture on a pc-screen and you had to "find" it in your head among hundreds you've mentally catalogued all together, immediately associating it with relative author, period, location, subject, meaning, style etc.
Sorry for the length, but I didn't know how to explain it to you with lesser words... let's say this post counts as a full review... Forgiven? Lol


message 16: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian hmmm...

It's interesting. I'd love to be able to understand what was happening in an image the way you do.

I guess the reason I chose the image was because it felt quite warm and I wanted to put that warmth in an austere environment hence the background.


message 17: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Fantastic review, Ian and glad you loved this! I esp like your comparison to AH movies...spot on.


message 18: by Ian (last edited Jul 28, 2014 03:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian 39 Jillie

(lol...do you even remember?)


Christina ~ Brunette Reader And I'd love to be able to use photoshop and the like the way you do. PCs and I are sworn natural enemies. It took me three days just to figure out how to post images here on GR... you get the idea.

I guess the reason I chose the image was because it felt quite warm and I wanted to put that warmth in an austere environment hence the background.
I still think you have intuitively conveyed a compelling and expressive image in its contrasts.
And I tried to explain myself thoroughly in my previous post just because... to be honest, I was afraid you would have otherwise got the idea I was giving judgements without having a clue of what I was talking about, but from now on just:"Beautiful pic, Ian", "Where have you dug that from, Ian?". Lol


message 20: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill Ian wrote: "39 Jillie

(lol...do you even remember?)"


...of course I remember...


message 21: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Christina ~ Brunette Reader wrote: "but from now on just..."

Please don't. I'm very interested in understanding what you were talking about. It's like getting a free guitar lesson from Eric Clapton. I may not play guitar but I definitely want the lesson.


Christina ~ Brunette Reader Thank you, Ian, even if I'm no Eric Clapton (some of my lecturers were). And I'm usually wary about bringing up such topics here as not knowing the other person, I have no way to understand the moment it becomes tedious for said person, that's why I wrote "from now on just"... to leave you the choice. Since you truly appreciate, I would like to tell you a couple more things to conclude the conversation, about both your pic and the original one you said you love: is that ok with you? If yes, I'll try to post today or tomorrow, here or pm/your profile if it's too off-topic for you on this review's thread, as you prefer. I think you might find them interesting. Sorry if I'm late answering, but I had little time these two days and in addition my wireless kept going on and off at home and why it does so as soon as it rains, I'll never understand. Bah.


message 23: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian It's definitely a yes.


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