This is a heartbreaking story of Cambodia in the 1970s, horrors that persist two decades later in Canada. A haunting phrase: “Hunger was erasing my being”; reality becomes blurred in such horrible circumstances. Thien was at Blue Metropolis last May in Montreal.
A very good mystery by a Canadian author (chosen from the CBC List of 100 Authors who make us proud to be a Canadian). This is a plot-driven mystery, so not much description of place. An intrepid private eye solves several murders, with the usual corrupt police force. There is a good surprise at the ending!
Hugo is obnoxious, cynical and bitter with self-loathing, so a thoroughly unpleasant person who has chosen to be a hermit. His choice of suicide to end his life (spoiler alert) is thwarted leading to a not entirely satisfactory ending but the writing is excellent throughout. (You may remember that I recommended another Christensen book last month, The Great Man)