A few weeks ago I requested a new thriller from Netgalley. It promised suspense and attracted me with a few opening lines. I had no other clue to judge a book, and I must admit I thought of Le Carré.
The book itself (at least in the ARC edition I was given) opened with a note by the author, a British female novelist who had publishing for children before (middle grade or YA?). This note was dated December 2015.
This foreword just astonished me, so much so that I had to stop there and could not really proceed to the story at once. It was violently against Europe, against Schengen borderless area, against German Chancellor Merkel, saying that she should resign for accepting refugees into Europe. And all this was written just six months before Brexit.
How prescient! A few days later, it wouldn’t have surprised me anymore! I probably have stumbled upon a vocal proponent of the 52%… something I luckily am not too often exposed to.
I had hoped that literature, especially “comfort genres” such as mysteries, might escape the craziness of our present world. Of course, I realize how inconsistent I must sound, since I also love when thrillers and noir novels are deeply rooted in a socio-economic-political contexts. Perhaps it’s because noir novels have a long tradition of supporting the underdog, the weaker members of society, the outcasts and marginals. I’m not that naive, I am aware that a lot of thrillers are indeed conservative, but I didn’t expect such a blatant declaration at the beginning of the book. Even if that was the writer’s intention, shouldn’t the publisher or agent have said something? Maybe the purpose of the editors was exactly to target those 52%? Not a bad economic calculation after all.
Call me prejudiced, but reading the foreword didn’t predispose me to enjoy the book. Quite the contrary. The beginning was clunky and highly unbelievable and I soon threw in the towel. That’s why I don’t want to mention the author’s and the title’s name. Hopefully a much better thriller will soon replace it in my memory. I’m really looking forward to some escapist literature. Because in the meantime, look at the mess that the 52% have created…