Margot's Reviews > The Lemur

The Lemur by Benjamin Black
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's review
Jun 09, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: detective-suspense, fiction
Read in June, 2009

A quick little delight of intrigue and family power struggles, which makes research look exciting in a CSI sort of way. The phrases are lovely, the observations heavy. I picked it up off the new books shelf at the library for the title and cover photo. Lemurs fascinate me, and they lend their name to the title of this book and the character whose murder provides the meat of the plot.

My favorite aspect was the vocabulary, so I compiled a list of my favorite words from the novel:

Eyrie (3)
Jeremiads (7)
Spoor (9)
Hirsute (14)
Bibulous (14)
Sozzled (14)
Venal (33)
Civet (48)
Susurrus (69)
Vertiginous (126)

I also enjoyed these bits:
"The fine rain drifted down absentmindedly, like ectoplasm. The trouble with smoking was that the desire to smoke was so much greater than the satisfaction afforded by actually smoking. Sometimes when he had a cigarette going he would forget and reach for the pack and start to light another. Maybe that was the thing to do, smoke six at a time, three in the gaps between the fingers of each hand, achieve a Gatling-gun effect."(11)

"His memories of those days were all hazed over happily, as if he were looking back through a pane of glass that had been breathed on by someone who was laughing."(47)

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