by Laura Lippman
Harper; Reprint edition (February 24, 2009)
352 pages - 7,99$
En français ici
Why this book
Another writer I've met at the QuebeCrime Festival.
The California dream weavers have invaded Charm City with their cameras, their stars, and their controversy . . .
When Tess Monaghan literally runs into the crew of the fledgling TV series Mann of Steel while sculling, she never expects to be hired to serve as bodyguard/babysitter to the young female lead, Selene Waites. But the company has been plagued by a series of disturbing "mishaps" lately. And the discovery of a corpse surrounded by photos of the beautiful, difficult superstar-in-the-making is causing Mann's creator and Hollywood legend, Flip Tumulty, considerable distress.
Keeping a spoiled movie princess under wraps may be more than Tess can handle, since Selene is less naive and far more devious than she initially appears to be. But murder is an occurrence the fish-out-of-water P.I. is all too familiar with—and a grisly on-set slaying suddenly threatens to topple the wall of secrets surrounding Mann of Steel, leaving lives, dreams, and careers scattered among the ruins.
What I think of it
When I read a thriller, I do not like having to wait half the book for something to happen ... and this was the case. The majority of the book is a credit to the limitless knowledge of the author in film but she lost us in her endless quotes. There is little action and no suspense, because the majority of the book consists of discussion about films or TV shows. The private detective does not investigate the murder, leaving it to the police, even if she eventually finds the culprit in a (very) few pages.
When I read a thriller, I like to read a thriller ... not an encyclopedia about movies, even if it's very interesting. There I found that the author goes a little too far : in the excerpt that I submit to you, the heroine catches red-handed some youngsters into the home of a dead guy as they were about to commit sins of the flesh and spirit (house, she herself is trespassing but that's another story). Tess asked them how they managed to get in there and the answer is such a completely atypical response from a teenager that it becomes detrimental to the credibility of the text! I mean : do you know a lot of teens who would have not answered "so what! whatever..."
He shrugged, almost proudly. He wasn't altogether dimwited. Tess stared him down.
"The first time, I came through the cellar," he admitted. "He has them Wizard of Oz doors."
It took her a second to get that reference, but it made her smile. Some old Baltimore houses did have storm cellar doors, although tornados were rare.
In a nutshell
Lovers of old movies or TV series will surely love this book that allows you to associate thriller and film and I must recognize the knowledge and / or research work of the author. However, I did not get into it, because I had trouble keeping the thread of the plot, drowned as I was in quotes.