Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black

It was one of those Tuesday afternoons in summer when you wonder if the earth has stopped revolving.

I guess I am not the target audience for which this novel was written, as I have never had a Tuesday which I thought the world had stopped revolving. In point of fact, I don't think I've ever had an afternoon of any day of the week, in any season in which I thought the world had stopped revolving.

However, I did have a day when I thought the world had stopped revolving around me, but that, if memory serves me correctly, was a Monday morning in spring, so if this opening line were to speak to me on a level I could understand, the opening line would be: It was one of those Monday mornings in spring when you wonder if the earth has stopped revolving around you. But of course, this opening line isn't written for me and I know this because of that Monday morning, when I not merely wondered but actually realized the world does not revolve around me. Sadly, I was only 10. But this review is not about me, it's about the opening of the Black-eyed Blonde.

The rest of the paragraph goes on about describing what the world would look like if it stopped revolving, but I'm not convinced. I'm no physicist but I think we'd be having a problem with something called gravity.

Anyway, so after this seemingly meaningless attempt at metaphor, wit and/or hyperbole that is actually thinly disguised preamble, we get a scene of a girl walking into an office.

First thing said:

"The name is Cavendish."

Despite there being the word Russian in the first couple pages, this fails to grab me from the get-go. However, on the plus side, it is well written and there is the mention of Philip Marlowe so I'm intrigued to read on. I guess the hook is in the subtitle.

Verdict: Fail

Rudy Globird

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