Not what I expected. Valerie Martin's Trespass begins with such ominous tension and barely controlled violence it seems it will be a coolly-controlled literary thriller, something akin to Patricia Highsmith. The college son of an American couple -- the dad's a historian, the mom's a book illustrator working on a new edition of Wuthering Heights -- brings home his chillly new girlfriend, a beautiful Croatian. Mom vehemently disapproves, and her suspicions rocket into hatred when the young woman becomes pregnant and the two get married. Then there's the armed poacher wandering around shooting rabbits, a poacher the mother has angrily ordered off their land. Behind all this is Bush's duplicitous run-up to the Iraq War, and you can see the many ways the title plays out. But Trespass pivots in unexpected, perhaps too convenient ways. If the ending is too peaceful for what preceded it, Martin is nonetheless such a sharp, gripping writer, the novel captivated me.

December 17, 2007 7:09 PM |


Best of the Vault


Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


Reviewing the state of reviewing


9/11 as a novel: Why?


How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

The disappearing book pages:  

Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

Thrillers and Lists:  

Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on December 17, 2007 7:09 PM.

Losing one's marbles: It's a Monday was the previous entry in this blog.

The trouble with squiggles is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.