Friday, June 23, 2006

Anabel Donald: In At The Deep End

This was lovely crime fic! Donald's heroine, television researcher/PI Alex Tanner, is an intelligent, feisty, independent delight. The kind of person you can actually visualize yourself hanging out with. After reading this (finished it at work, slow day thanks be to God) I ran back to the library to get more books by Ms Donald, but they only had Smile, Honey, which is a novel, not a detective story, and reading the back of it I realised I'd already read this, years ago. I mean years. Maybe 12 or so. Wow, I'm old. Anyway, it made quite an impression on me, since the epilogue has stuck with me all these years, without me being able to quite place it. I recommend Anabel Donald in general.

This book is set in the early nineties. The recession is in full swing. I find it hard now to remember what it was like then - the feeling of hopelessness, how there were no jobs, property value was plummeting... Anyway, the general scarcity of money is what prompts Alex Tanner to undertake a doubtful investigation of a teenager who died in a diving accident at his military-style private school. The boy was the son of an English-French celebrity couple, obviously modelled on Gainsbourg and Birkin, which is freaking hilarious. I saw a documentary on Gainsbourg on the telly once (no the whole thing, because hello? Boooring...), and the man is quite mad. He said "I want to fuck you" to Whitney Houston on television! No wonder the woman is on drugs, he's a creep. Donald creates a bogus tv interview for her fictional couple (the Mouches) in the same vein:
I filled her with my angel-milk and she became a slave to love

I also love that Alex's boyfriend brings her two Sue Graftons and a Paretsky when he returns from a business trip to the US. Alex likes Sue Grafton best, so her instinct is to read the Paretsky first, but
on the other hand you shouldn't read two books by the same author one after another because the mannerisms get on your nerves.
Too true, but that didn't stop me running to the library. *blushing*

No comments: