Ulstein is to be congratulated for a pacey and twisty police procedural, which could have easily been a paint-by-numbers scandi-noir missing girl story. Instead we dance back and forward between the present day search of Iben Lind, and people and places from twenty years before a town away.
The narrative is deceptively simple, in many ways because to really see the story you have to consider it from so many points of view, consider that what was decidedly make believe to one character was decidedly real to the world in which another lives. That in many ways we are mainly people who just happen to intersect with each other for a short time. It is impossible to truly know how other people really see the world or ourselves. It is so often time that is the only thing that gives us real perspective.
The Baby Is Mine is an engaging, playful and modern take on the biblical tale Solomon's judgement.
By trying to inhabit both the best of true crime and crime fiction Chizman displays an admirable amount of creative ambition and playfulness. Of course some of the best work in true crime comes is in the first person, and to truely inhabit that position he has to write as himslef. There is the added bonus that this lends great authenticity to the time and place, but this is perhapse at the expense of the telling the story, and it feels to me that in this novel at least everything should be in greater service to the story.
As someone who does not believe in an afterlife with punishment editions, and also would not strictly adhear to conventional ideas of reincarnation, death to me has always appeared to be a release from suffering. So the obsession with death as a punishment, the ultimate punishment, has always puzzled me, surely if punishment is really what you want then creating a worse life on earth is what is called for - and as we can see throughout history, we are really, really good at doing that.
Yet, when we look at the evidence over time it's likely that women have been just, if not more prolific in their voilence. A combination of using methods which have been more difficult to detect and less showy, such as posoin, combined with cultural taboo's that still exist around women, caring and motherhood which mean their violence can often not be contemplated, very weirdly leads me to conclude this is yet another area in which women's contributions have been overlooked. And as pshycologist Anna Motz says, when we deny women's violence, we deny women.
This is a work that undermines the notion of the contemporary realism as it is set half in reality, half in myth, half in the physical world, half in the mind. Being partly made of myth and mind, the reality The Maidens presents us with beyond physical buildings, and bodies is slippery, subjective and hard to pin down.
Parry takes us through both the high and low society of Edinburgh but we find in both of them calculated crime, devious intent and women struggling under rigid morality the consequences of which men often invade.
This week our episode is another author interview. We spoke to David Bishop, author of City of Vengance. We chatted about Florence, nuns, historical research, diversity in charactors, and so much more. It was a fun interview to do, and I hope you enjoy listening.
Availible to pre-order through the TCF Bookshop. Profits go to support independent retailers and True Crime fiction Listen to the podcast episode here. Death's Kiss, by Josh Reynolds is published on 1st June by Aconyte and is a crime novel set in the fantasy world of the Legend of the Five Rings role playing game, …