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The Murder of Halland
 
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The Murder of Halland [Format Kindle]

Pia Juul , Martin Aitken

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Denmark’s foremost literary author turns crime fiction on its head. Bess and Halland live in a small town, where everyone knows everyone else. When Halland is found murdered in the main square the police encounter only riddles. For Bess bereavement marks the start of a journey that leads her to a reassessment of first friends then family. “Just as Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose made crime fiction appear intellectual, so Pia Juul’s The Murder of Halland dismantles the rules of an entire genre.” Dagens Nyheter “This is good literature. Beautifully written. A rare and glittering stone on the beach. “Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Norway Why Peirene chose to publish this book: “If you like crime you won’t be disappointed. The book has all the right ingredients. A murder, a gun, an inspector, suspense. But I love the story because it strays far beyond the who-done-it norm. In beautifully stark language Pia Juul manages to chart the phases of bereavement.“ Meike Ziervogel, Publisher

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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  8 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Much more than just a crime story 15 août 2012
Par Acorn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat authentifié par Amazon
In a rural town in Denmark, Bess stays up one night to work on a story while her partner Halland Roe goes to bed. At daybreak she falls asleep on the sofa and is later abruptly woken to be told that Halland has been shot dead in the square nearby. Halland and Bess, both writers, had been living together for over ten years. She had left her husband, but her daughter Abby decided to remain with the father. As Bess goes over to look at Halland's body, she realises it is the loss of Abby that affects her more.

So begins a complex tale told by Bess. It is clear that she is distraught - everyone around her sees that - but she is blind to the fact. Bess's ties to her own family are not good and she senses that she has been a failure in that regard. The attraction to Halland was tinged with uncertainty but they had made a comfortable existence together. Now her world is beginning to come undone.

There is a detective story, but it is almost all in the background. The police follow various leads and construct theories about Halland's killing as each new bit of evidence comes to light, but Bess's interaction with them is sporadic and she does not follow accounts of the investigation in the newspapers.

Halland was well known so there is press coverage of his death. Following this, a pregnant woman, Pernille, arrives to say she is Halland's niece and that he has been supporting her. Bess was completely unaware of this and cannot believe it is true, but later visits Pernille's apartment in Copenhagen and finds a room that Halland had been using there. Is this woman a relative at all? Bess also meets Stine, a local woman who seems to know a lot about Halland's state of mind, especially his views on his relationship with Bess. These women, previously strangers, deepen Bess's anxiety.

Abby visits and their relationship is rekindled to some degree, but meanwhile a neighbour goes missing and no one is sure if this is linked to Halland's death. It turns out that Halland has taken a number of steps that could be read as a premonition of his death, or perhaps plans for a completely new life.

Pia Juul has written a story with all the twists and turns you would expect from a murder mystery, but the ending doesn't follow the usual script and you sense that solving the crime might not be what Bess really wants or needs. Much more important for Bess is how she can deal with her own sense of loss - of Halland, of Abby and of her family relationships. Her sometimes erratic and unsympathetic behaviour is driven by grief and by a self-reflection in which she finds herself wanting.

There are 35 short chapters and the pace is well managed. All but the first chapter begin with a literary quote that highlights a theme in the chapter, but I found this a little old fashioned and affected. The complexity of the plot will please crime fiction fans, but there is much more to this story. The death of Halland - was it a murder? - sparks an incisive examination of loss and grief, and how these can remain buried beneath the surface of our daily lives until a crisis exhumes them. Bess might not always be a likeable character, but she recounts a tale of great depth and elegance.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Scandinavian Whydunit? 17 août 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book starts with the murder of Halland, who is gunned down yards from his home. The police turn up to arrest his wife Bess, as it appears with his dying words he had accused her of the crime. If you, like myself, are going "Ok, another Nordic crime thriller", check out the publisher's name. Yep Peirene Press, and past experience has taught me that this won't follow the usual genre rules, that at the very least there will be an interesting twist and I'm pleased to say they haven't yet let me down.

Although there's a murder, a gun and a dour seeming inspector, this book focuses on Bess and how the bereavement acts as a catalyst causing her to reassess her friends, family and ultimately her life. We follow Bess as she careens from pillar to post, sometimes drunk, sometimes bemused, whilst attempting to understand, to come to terms with Halland's death and all that has come to light because of it.

Last year I read a book by Shuichi Yoshida and this reminds me of that, although both tales differ considerably, in both there's a murder at it's centre, a black hole around which everything turns and yet it is the effect of this crime on the individual that becomes the focus of the story, the crime is merely the matrix that allows this focus. As with the other book The murder of Halland is the type of thriller that gives the genre a great name, it's intelligent, thought provoking, it asks questions, whilst doing so in a manner that doesn't give you a list of pat, generic answers, leaving you to ponder any answers for yourself.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A gem of a read 31 octobre 2013
Par Kathryn Pokalo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
The narrative voice is instantly enticing and befuddling. Can we trust the narrator or her perceptions? I felt the narrator's sense of dislocation as I was reading. I was captivated by the sense of place--the isolation and claustrophobia of the small world of the novel. I am so pleased to have discovered both this writer and the Peirene Press. The physical book is as delightful to hold as the content is engaging to read.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A murder mystery from a different perspective - quiet and a bit gloomy 5 août 2013
Par Yvonne - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat authentifié par Amazon
The book is about the murder of Halland, the questions are obvious: who did it, why? But it is not about the answers. It is about Halland's wife, her dealing with the his murder and her mourning, not only of him, but another life past.

And just as her main character, the author doesn't like obvious endings.
2.0 étoiles sur 5 TRAGICOMEDY? 6 juin 2013
Par Mothram - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat authentifié par Amazon
It's one thing to turn the mystery genre on its head but inside out?

This psycho drama has a murder (maybe) and a bereaving girlfriend (wife?) who runs around the neighborhood going through the stages of grief when no one's sure what's going on. She's dazed and confused, and as the reader sees through her eyes, so is he. Maybe it's a comedy.
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