Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: "Sorry" by Zoran Drvenkar

Sorry, a German thriller written by Zoran Drvenkar, opens with a really nasty and very brutal sequence of violence, but after that, nothing much else happens. If any genre of literature is overrated while still being okay, it is the European mystery genre, made popular by the likes of Jo Nesbo and Steig Larsson. These stories are always brutal, long and rife with cultural quirks. But for some reason, I have never found anything profound or moving in these books, and that applies even more so to this book. I think I just prefer my American crime stories to anything across the pond. The violence in books like this are gruesome and creative, but it treats them casually and lessens the effects it has on the people in the story, which you won’t find in books like Lehane’s Mystic River or Pelecanos’ The Turnaround. Some people like it, and I won’t fault them for it, but to me, it tends to veer off into a place that is tawdry and tasteless. After the brutal opening involving a very large nail and a very unlucky woman, we meet our quartet of losers, drifting through middle adulthood, who stumble onto an idea that might net them millions: take a poor schmuck who doesn’t have the courage to apologize, and do it for him. It’s a morally corrupt, but successful way to make money that ultimately leads them into the clutches of the person who commits the crime at the beginning. I give the book credit for not taking easy ways out, especially when the device they were using (writing the killer’s section in second person) didn’t lead to where I thought it was going to, but the plight of these four misfits never seems urgent, even when someone major dies, and after a dismal climax, I was left feeling unsatisfied, but not that I had wasted my time.

Rating: 3/5

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