Saturday, June 09, 2012

She Lover of Death - Boris Akunin

Good light read amongst some of the heavy reading I was having in the recent times. Boris Akunin, is one of the new era writers emerging from Russia and is immensely popular. I haven't read any of is other works, but this isnt one I would hold him in high esteem. A rather simple mystery thriller, weaved around the theme of suicide club, around Russian Capital Moscow in the 1900, Boris Akunin, construct the story typical of any thriller with its twists and turns. He progresst the novel, through the press reports, diary of one of the member of the society and an insider report to the police.

As we comes to know from the press reports in Moscow Couriers and Moscow Gazette during the period of August to October 1900, we come to know the existence of a secret sect 'worshipping Death' , and embracing it at regular intervals, leaving aside a departure poem. Young Marya Miranova, reaches Moscow from the Siberian town, introduced to the club by one of her acquaintance, get attracted to the club and to the powers of its mysterious leader. As the suicides continue , creating newer vacancies in the club, the authorities ( through the informer) and the press continue to bring out the details to public, but with no success in cracking down the group. It's after 5-6 deaths, comes in the hero in the form of a 'Japanese Prince' with his charm. He makes no attempt to hide his intention to Marya ( Now known as Columbine in the society) to dismantle the team. The rest of the pages goes through the typical cinematic fashion with suspects, deaths, and action. The mystery is around the deaths. Are they suicide or serial killing ?

The writing is very ordinary and plain at most places. ,except with the 'Lovers of Death 'and their poems dedicated to death. I haven't read any of the 'Fandorin Mystery Series' ( I think this is the 8th book of the series) and given my liking I'm not likely to read any. I found the characters and the plot very ordinary with no novelty to offer apart from the three way narration. Not sure how a regular crime thriller reader like this book.

In this Interview, Boris Akunin Says 'I finished She Lover of Death and saw that it was like one hand clapping, which is all right for Zen but not good enough for literature'. That is precisely, what I thought about the book. Beyond the structural variation, few good parts of writing , the rest is very mediocre.
She Lover of Death (2001)

Boris Akunin ( translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield 2009)


263 Pages
Wiki entry, Guardian

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