Review - Blood Wedding, Pierre Lemaitre
We've all done it - lost the car keys and then found them again. Misplaced the notebook, torn the place apart, then found it weeks later exactly where we thought it should have been. We've had emails go missing, meetings reset, appointments changed. There have been times when most of us have contemplated the possibility that we're starting to go slightly mad. Which is exactly the reaction that Sophie has when weird things start happening to her. Although the fuzziness in her head, the strange losses and reappearances, and the peculiar mistakes are nothing at all compared to blacking out and killing somebody. Something that happens to her more than once.
The first part of the book concentrates on Sophie's life - from the way that she goes into hiding when the young boy in her care is found dead, through to the manner in which she re-invents herself is realistically portrayed. There's something matter-of-fact about the ruthlessness with which she hides out, she's so capable in the way that she drops from sight, the way she hides her secrets. At the same time she's in such doubt about what has happened to her, racked with guilt over her "madness", that she's a tricky character for a reader to connect with. She's present for so many aspects of her story, and yet somehow oddly absent for others.
The explanation, when it starts to reveal itself isn't necessarily going to be a total surprise for readers, but that's not the point, and whatever you might think it is, there will definitely be more to the outcome. It's very much about Sophie and her survival, it's about ruthless pursuit and determination. It's claustrophobic and intense, and whilst the early part of Sophie's story may have a slightly languid feel to it, that changes rapidly.
BLOOD WEDDING is one of those psychological thrillers that's finely balanced between confusion and clarity, disconnection and absorption, obsession and real affection. Starting out in a slow and calculated manner, rapidly shifting into something that's compelling and absolutely absorbing BLOOD WEDDING is gripping and very cleverly constructed.
Sophie is haunted by the things she can't remember - and visions from the past she will never forget. One morning, she wakes to find that the little boy in her care is dead. She has no memory of what happened. And whatever the truth, her side of the story is no match for the evidence piled against her. Her only hiding place is in a new identity. A new life, with a man she has met online. But Sophie is not the only one keeping secrets ...