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Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper

The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper is an ambiguous novel. The novel opens with Patrick Rush, a widowed father and successful novelist going to a drive-in movie with his eight year old son. When his son disappears, we learn of Patrick’s past, when he was still an aspiring author and joined a writer’s workshop called the Kensington Circle. After a woman goes missing in his neighborhood, he and the other attendees believe there is a connection between a story being written by one of the would-be authors and these crimes. Patrick struggles with his roles as widower, father, failing journalist and would be author. He must examine the darker workings of his own mind and his past in order to understand who has taken his son and why.

I really had a hard time getting into this novel. However, I don’t think it was the books fault, I think the failing was all mine. It is very well written, the narrative flows very well, the story is paced so to not give away anything and really keep the reader guessing. I think the problem was that I just couldn’t connect at all with the main character. I really didn’t like him very much. In fact I didn’t actually like anyone in the book, with the exception of Sam, Patrick’s son. I had a bit of trouble with Sam, I found him immensely likable, but way too precocious for a kid his age. I do understand that a boy raised from infancy by a single man, a reader, may just be that well spoken. I think I was supposed to like and empathize with Patrick and I just couldn’t. Its hard to feel involved in a novel like this when there is a disconnect of sorts between the character and the reader.

I would like to find fault with the ending of the novel, it is quite ambiguous and could be taken two ways. But I actually thought that was the best part. It appeals to the Pollyanna nature of readers such as myself, we can assume a happy Hollywood ending, and yet it would also appeal to readers who prefer darker and more realistic endings.

I think I just wasn’t in the mood for this type of novel. This might have been a perfect read for a dreary stormy week, when after a long, cold, wet day, I could have curled up by the fireplace and read for hours. I can see how this book could have the ability to almost cast a spell over the reader at such times. Unfortunately, I was reading in the bright, hot and sunny dog days of summer, with lots of distractions. The atmosphere and mood just wasn’t right, and my enjoyment of the novel suffered because of it.

The Killing Circle will be released on Sept. 16, 2008

1 comments:

bermudaonion said...

That books sounds rather creepy to me.