Selbs Mord (Selb’s Murder)
It’s the last of the 3 policiers by Bernhard Schlink that has the elderly Mr. Selb, P.I. as a main character. Mr Schlink is better known for “The Reader” (movie coming out beginning of next year), but I bought Selb’s Murder at a sale and I had it lieing around the house.
And I don’t regret the few hours I’ve spend with it one bit.
It’s a police novel, pretty straightforward plot – and also very important – so I’m not getting into that (trying to keep the spoilers to a minimum). There’s the mafia, money laundering, murder and murky family histories – enough to keep you busy for 250-or-so pages. The chapters are a few pages each, so it’s perfect for reading on the commute (I should know, I do that a lot 😉 ) and it’s all talk and action – very little descriptions, very little bits of character building, very much fun 😀 .
On the back cover of my edition it says something about Selb being created more in the tradition of Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade than in the line of Poirot. Which is probably true – at least, he’s not at all like Poirot; I haven’t read anything by Chandler or Hammett. I’ve seen the movies though, and they’re both very temperamental, they’re both presences, scene-stealers (OK, that must have been the all too powerful Bogart factor 😀 ), while Selb is more like a hand in the dark, an obscure-and-not-even-essential clog in a bigger machine.
Then again, I’m probably rambling; if the police-novel-mood ever strikes, the Selb series should do juuuust fine 😉