Category Archives: Herman Koch

Let’s See What We Can Do, Together Me and You*

One of the interesting things about human interaction is the influence people have on each other. For example, you might not be inclined to take that healthful early-morning walk or run yourself. But if you have a buddy to go with you, you might do it. Of course, that sort of influence isn’t always positive. You might spend more money if you go shopping with someone than you would if you shopped by yourself.

Whether the influence is positive or negative, it seems to be that case that people can, for lack of a better word, push each other. For example, I once had the rare privilege of seeing Billy Joel and Elton John together in concert. The show was among the best I’ve seen, and part of the reason is that the two artists spurred each other on, so that each was at his best.

We see a lot of that sort of influence in crime fiction, and that makes sense, considering it’s part of human nature. For instance, in Agatha Christie’s The Mystery of the Blue Train, Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of Ruth Van Aldin Kettering, who was strangled during a trip on the famous Blue Train. Her estranged husband, Derek Kettering, is one of the suspects. He’s in real need of money, and she had a fortune to leave. What’s more, he has an expensive mistress, Mirelle, who was, as she puts it, not born to be poor. Another suspect is Armand de la Roche, who was having an affair with the victim. He, too, is eager for money, and Ruth had with her a valuable ruby necklace that’s been stolen. There are other possibilities as well. At one point in the novel, Mirelle is furious because Kettering has broken things off with her. In her anger, she visits de la Roche, and tells him that she knows Kettering is guilty. Whether not Kettering is the murderer, both she and de la Roche know that it’s in their interests for him to be blamed. It satisfies Mirelle’s desire for revenge, and it gives de la Roche the opportunity to blackmail Kettering (i.e. ‘I won’t go to the police with what I know if you pay me….’). And, if either Mirelle or de la Roche is the murderer, framing Kettering is of benefit. It’s an interesting example of each one pushing the other, so to speak.

There’s a chilling example of this sort of influence in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. That’s a fictional account of the 1959 murders of Herb and Bonnie Clutter and two of their children. The murderers, Richard ‘Dick’ Hickock and Perry Smith, were tried, convicted, and later executed. Among other things, the novel tells the story of how they planned and committed the crimes. It’s possible that neither man alone would have committed the murders. But Hickock had heard that the Clutters had a safe with a lot of money in it. His plan was to rob them. And he knew that Smith would be a useful ally. If either man had acted alone, the crime might not have ended in so much tragedy. But they encouraged each other, in their way, and things got out of control.

That’s what happens in Peter Robinson’s Gallows View, too. Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Alan Banks has recently moved from London to the small Yorkshire town of Eastvale. He doesn’t have much time to settle in before several cases come up. One is a voyeur who’s been making the lives of Eastvale’s women miserable. Another is a series of home invasions. Then there’s a murder. Possibly mixed up in it all are two teenagers, Trevor Sharp and Mick Webster. Separately, each has had his troubles. But together, they’re even more trouble. And they’re not exactly fans of the police. It’s really interesting to see the dynamic between these two, and to see how it influences them.

Robert Gott’s The Holiday Murders introduces Melbourne police detective Titus Lambert, and his assistant, Sergeant Joe Sable. They investigate when Xavier Quinn and his father, John, are brutally murdered on Christmas Eve. They’re soon joined by Constable Helen Lord, and the three look into the killings. One possibility is that someone is targeting the Quinn family for personal reasons. But another possibility is that the murders are political in nature. There’s evidence in the home that connects the Quinns to Australia First, a far-right group that includes pro-Nazis (the novel takes place in 1943). As the three investigate the murders, we see how people can influence one another to act in ways that they might not act alone.

That’s also true in Herman Koch’s The Dinner. In that novel, two couples meet for dinner in an ultra-exclusive Amsterdam restaurant. Paul Lohman and his wife, Claire, have made plans to dine with Paul’s brother, Serge, and Serge’s wife, Babette. On the surface, it looks like two couples having a fancy meal. But as the novel goes on, we soon learn that it’s much darker. As each course unfolds, we learn more about this very dysfunctional family. Readers find out about their backgrounds, and about the real reason they are meeting. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. Together, the cousins committed a terrible crime, and Lohmans are meeting to decide what they should do. As we find out what the crime is and how it came about, we also see how cousins interacted, and how that mutual influence impacted what happened.

And that’s how it often is when people act together. It can be for the good, or…not. Either way, mutual influence can spur us on to do things we might not do alone.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Doug Robb’s Fist Bump.

15 Comments

Filed under Agatha Christie, Herman Koch, Peter Robinson, Robert Gott, Truman Capote

We Do It All the Time*

As this is posted, it would have been Jane Austen’s 243rd birthday. Of the many things for which she is remembered, one of them is that she held a sometimes-witty lens up to her society. It’s tricky to do that without becoming mean-spirited. When it’s done well, though, that sort of story can be very successful.

Of course, there are plenty of crime novels (like Herman Koch’s The Dinner) that take a darker look at society. But plenty of them use a lighter approach. And that can make for an effective context for a story.

For instance, Richard Hull’s The Murder of My Aunt is the story of Edward Powell, and his Aunt Mildred. She’s raised him since he was a baby, and she holds the proverbial purse strings. So, although he finds it very unpleasant to live with her, Powell has no choice. She’s the one who has to approve of any other life he chose, and she wants him to live with her near the Welsh village of Llwll. One day, Aunt Mildred goes too far in her control and criticism, so Powell decides that the only way out of his predicament is to kill her. But Aunt Mildred is no mental slouch, so what ensues is a sort of game of cat and mouse. Will he succeed in killing her? Will she find out about his plans in time? Among other things, the novel takes a witty look at life in a Welsh village, from the viewpoint of Powell, who has nothing but contempt for the locals. What’s interesting is that he is, in many ways, an unsympathetic character. So the alert reader gets a witty look at the society of that time in that place.

In Robert Barnard’s Death of an Old Goat, the Department of English at the University of Drummondale, Australia, is about to get an important visitor. Oxford Professor Belville-Smith is doing a tour of Australia, and Drummondale will be one of his stops. Professor Bobby Wickham and the rest of the English faculty will play host, and there’s a lot of preparation. But things don’t go as planned. For one thing, Belville-Smith is contemptuous of his rural Australian hosts, and makes no effort to disguise that. What’s more, he’s at the point in his life and career when he’s given his lectures too many times. In fact, at one point, he begins by delivering one lecture and then switches to another midway through. Then one morning, he is found murdered in his hotel room. Inspector Bert Royle has never investigated a murder before, but he’s in charge of this one, and it won’t be easy. Belville-Smith might have been insufferable, but he seemed harmless enough. So it’s going to be hard to work out who would have had a motive strong enough to lead to murder. Throughout the novel, Barnard finds ways to hold up a witty (and not always flattering) lens to academia and to life in rural Australia.

In Ngaio Marsh’s A Surfeit of Lampreys (AKA Death of a Peer), we are introduced to the eccentric Lamprey family. When they make a visit to New Zealand, they meet Roberta Grey. She can’t help but be charmed by them, and they like her, too. When Roberta’s parents die, she moves to London to live with an aunt. Then, she encounters the Lampreys again. They virtually adopt her, so she gets to know them. One of the realities of life with the Lampreys is that they make unsound financial decisions. So, they’re practically always in need of money. When Lord Charles Lamprey asks his wealthy brother, Gabriel ‘Uncle G’ for financial help, he’s refused point blank. Shortly afterwards, Uncle G is murdered. Roberta gets mixed up in the case as Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn investigates. Along with the mystery, Marsh holds up a lens to the lives of ‘bluebloods’ with more titles than money sense.

Teresa Solana’s A Not So Perfect Crime introduces readers to Barcelona PIs (and twin brothers) Eduard and Josep “Pep” (who goes by the name Borja) Martínez. The novel begins as they get a new client, Lluís Font, Member of the Parliament of Catalonia. He suspects that his wife, Lídia, is having an affair, and he wants the Martínez brothers to find out if it’s true. For a week or so, they follow her and look into the matter, but there is no evidence that she’s being unfaithful. Then, Lídia suddenly dies of what turns out to be poison. Font is, of course, the most likely suspect. So, he asks the brothers to stay in his employ and clear his name. Throughout the novel, Solana holds up a witty lens to the attitudes and lifestyle of Barcelona’s ‘upper crust.’ And that adds a great deal to the novel.

And then there’s Ruth Dudley Edwards’ Corridors of Death. In it, we meet Robert Amiss, who, in this novel, works as Private Secretary to Sir Nicholas Clark, Permanent Secretary to the Department of Conservation. One afternoon, Clark and Amiss are attending a meeting of the Industry and Government Group. During a break in the proceedings. Clark is killed in the men’s room. The police are called in, and Detective Superintendent James Milton leads the investigation. Since Amiss was Clark’s private secretary, and since he was present at the meeting, Milton believes Clark will be a valuable source of information. For Amiss’ part, he’s curious about the investigation. So, the two men agree to share information and to work together. Woven throughout this novel Edwards’ satirical look at the foibles and pretenses of government bureaucracy. She holds up a lens to the politics, the process, and the people involved in getting the government’s work done.

It’s easy to pull off a witty look at society, but when it’s done well, it can add a great deal to a novel. And holding up a lens like that can give the reader an interesting perspective. These are just a few examples of how that works in crime fiction. Your turn. Oh, and you might have noticed I didn’t mention Agatha Christie’s work. Too easy…

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone’s Turn It Off.

19 Comments

Filed under Herman Koch, Ngaio Marsh, Richard Hull, Robert Barnard, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Teresa Solana

You Know I’m Gonna be Like Him*

It’s interesting how things get passed along in families. I’m not really talking here about physical appearance, although that, of course, is passed along, too. I’m talking more about things such as mannerisms, traits, and, sometimes, special talents. If you’ve ever caught yourself saying something exactly like one of your parents, or using a mannerism that one of your parents used, you know what I mean.

We see this in crime fiction, too, and it can make for an interesting layer of character development. It can even add to a plot point. It’s realistic, too, so it can also add some credibility to family dynamics.

Agatha Christie addressed this in several of her stories. There’s even one (I’m not giving title or sleuth, so as to avoid spoilers) in which family traits prove to be a major clue to a killer. Appointment With Death, for instance, features the Boynton family, Americans who are on a tour of the Middle East. Family matriarch Mrs. Boynton is a malicious, tyrannical person whom Hercule Poirot calls a mental sadist. She has her family so much under her control that they do whatever she says, and never risk displeasing her. The family takes a trip to the ruins of Petra, during which Mrs. Boynton suddenly dies. Colonel Carbury is in charge of the case, and he’s not quite satisfied that this was a natural death. He asks Hercule Poirot to look into the matter, and it soon comes out that the victim was murdered. The most likely suspects are the members of her family, each of whom had a very good motive for murder. One of those family members is seventeen-year-old Ginevra ‘Jinny’ Boynton. She’s become mentally quite fragile as a result of her mother’s psychological abuse, and on the surface, she doesn’t seem much like her at all. But, she has a rare acting ability. When she gets the chance to live her own life, free of her mother’s influence, we see just how talented she is – and that she has more in common with her mother than it seemed. Here’s what one character says:
 

‘‘Looking at Jinny, I saw – for the first time – the likeness. The same thing – only Jinny is in light – where She was in darkness…’’
 

It’s an interesting commentary on the way certain mannerisms and personality traits can be passed down.

In Peter Robinson’s Gallows View, we are introduced to Trevor Sharp. He’s a teenager who’s a bit at loose ends. He doesn’t fit in well at school, and he doesn’t have a lot of friends. So, as you can imagine, he’s quite drawn in by a local delinquent named Mick Webster. His father, Graham, warns him away from the boy, but Trevor doesn’t listen. That’s how he gets mixed up in several cases that Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Alan Banks is investigating. For one thing, a voyeur has been spying on several of Eastvale’s women. For another, there’s been a series of home invasions. Then, there’s a murder. And Banks wants to know what role, if any, Trevor has played in these crimes. As we get to know the Sharps, we see that on the surface, they’re different. But they really aren’t that different after all. And, in the end, we see how much Trevor has inherited, if that’s the right term, from his father.

One of the main characters in James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential is an LAPD officer named Edward ‘Ed’ Exley. He is the son of LAPD legend Preston Exley, and that fact makes his life extremely complicated. His older brother Thomas, was, in many ways, just like their father, and slated for a highly successful police career. In fact, Exley senior placed all of his hopes in Thomas. But Thomas was killed in WW II (the novel takes place in the early 1950s) shortly after his graduation from the police academy. Now, the burden of excelling on the police force falls to Ed, who’s not nearly as much like his father as his brother was. Still, as the novel goes on, we see that he has more in common with his father than it may seem on the surface.

Herman Koch’s The Dinner features the members of the Lohman family. One evening, Paul Lohman and his wife, Claire, meet up with his brother, Serge, and Serge’s wife, Babette. They’re having dinner at an ultra-exclusive and extremely expensive Amsterdam restaurant. On the surface, it’s just a getting-together of two couples. But under the surface, there’s a lot more going on. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son, and, together, their boys have committed a terrible crime. Now, the two couples have to decide what they’re going to do about it. As the novel goes on, we see that, in several ways, the boys have inherited their attitudes and beliefs from their parents. While the parents are unwilling to admit it, there’s a resemblance between them and their sons.

And then there’s Gail Bowen’s sleuth, Joanne Kilbourn Shreve. She is a (now-retired) academic and political scientist. She is also the mother of an adopted daughter, Taylor. Among other things, Taylor is an extraordinary artist, with rare talent. Interestingly, her biological mother, Sally, also had real artistic talent. The novels in the series don’t all focus on Taylor, Sally, or art. But throughout the series, we see how, even though they spent no real time together during Taylor’s formative years (Sally was killed when Taylor was not much more than a toddler), there are still real resemblances between the two. And sometimes, they’re very clear to Joanne, who was friends with Sally and who has raised Taylor.

There are, of course, plenty of examples of parents and children who are absolutely nothing like one another. But in a lot of cases, there are similarities, whether it’s in attitude, mannerisms, preferences, or something else. So it makes sense that we’d see those similarities in crime fiction.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Harry Chapin’s Cat’s in the Cradle.

6 Comments

Filed under Agatha Christie, Gail Bowen, Herman Koch, James Ellroy, Peter Robinson

Each Parent Here Expects Their Child to Earn a High Return*

One of the important jobs that teachers often have is to work with their students’ parents. Research shows that a solid home/school relationship contributes to student achievement; students benefit if their teachers are in regular communication with their families. More than that, a solid home/school relationship makes communication much easier and less awkward if there is a problem. So, it makes sense that teachers and other school staff would want to reach out to parents.

But that communication can be fraught with difficulties. For one thing, parents and teachers may not see things the same way. For another, there’s a lot at stake in the relationship. Parents want their children to do well; and for many, their children’s reputations are a reflection of their parenting. Because the home/school relationship is so important, and sometimes so tense, it’s not surprising that it come up in crime fiction. Here are just a few instances; there are a lot more out there.

In Agatha Christie’s Cat Among the Pigeons, we are introduced to Honoria Bulstrode. She is the headmistress at Meadowbank, an exclusive school for girls. The novel opens as Meadowbank begins the summer term, and parents arrive with their daughters. Miss Bulstrode, her business partner, Miss Chadwick, and her assistant, Eleanor Vansittart, welcome the students, deal with the parents, and try to get everyone settled. There’s a funny scene where one parent arrives, completely inebriated, with the goal of taking her daughters out of the school. Miss Bulstrode sees what’s happening and how it’s handled, and completely misses something important that’s said to her. That comment turns out to be key to the solution when the new games mistress, Grace Springer, is shot late one night. That murder is related to a kidnapping, some stolen jewels, and a revolution in a faraway country.

Peter Robinson’s Gallows View takes place in the Yorkshire town of Eastvale. Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Alan Banks has recently moved there with his family. Almost immediately, he is faced with some difficult investigations. There’s a voyeur who’s been making the women of Eastvale miserable. And there’s been a series of home invasions. Then, there’s a murder. And one person who may be mixed up in it all is a teenager named Trevor Sharp. He doesn’t fit in particularly well at school and is a bit at loose ends. His teachers have told his father that he doesn’t apply himself, and that he could do better, but Trevor’s father is, to say the least, not helpful. That’s what Banks finds, too, when he tries to talk to the man about his son. The relationship between home and school isn’t a major part of the plot in this novel, but it does add interesting character layers, and it shows what happens when there’s a gulf between parents and teachers.

Paddy Richardson’s Swimming in the Dark is, in part, the story of Ilse Klein, a secondary school teacher in the small town of Alexandria, on New Zealand’s South Island. In one plot thread, she becomes concerned about one of her most promising students, fifteen-year-old Serena Freeman. Lately, Serena has been skipping school a great deal. And when she is there, she takes no interest in what’s going on, and she doesn’t participate. This is so unlike the girl that Ilse alerts the school’s counseling team, who send a representative to Serena’s home. Serena’s mother resents the visit, and in any case, doesn’t have much to say about her daughter’s recent changes. She proves to be more defensive and self-involved than helpful. Then, Serena goes missing. Now, Ilse Klein is very worried, and ends up getting more deeply involved in what’s going on than she ever thought possible.

One of the main characters in Herman Koch’s The Dinner is former teacher Paul Lohman. One night, he and his wife, Claire, meet up for dinner with his older brother, Serge, and Serge’s wife, Babette. The restaurant is ultra-exclusive, and on the surface, it looks like a lovely night out. But underneath, things are quite different. The story is told as the meal progresses, and during each ‘course,’ we find out more about these two couples. One thing we learn is that their sons, each aged fifteen, are responsible for a terrible crime. The reason for the dinner is that the parents want to discuss what to do about what they know. As the novel moves on, we learn the families’ backstories, including Paul’s time as a history teacher. It turns out that he angered some parents (and some of the students) with his comments about the Second World War. The parents complained to the school board and principal, and Paul was urged to ‘take some time off,’ and ‘get some rest.’ In the end, he retired for medical reasons. There are a few scenes in the novel that depict some conversations between Paul and the school principal, and they show how teachers can view things very differently to the way parents do. It’s not spoiling the story to say that Paul is not a very reliable narrator, so it’s also an invitation to the reader to think about what really happened in the classroom.

And then there’s Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. That’s the story of a group of families, all of whose children attend Piriwee Public School, on Piriwee Peninsula, near Sydney. The main focus of the novel is the Kindergarten class and the members of their families. The Kindgergarten teacher, Bec Barnes, is looking forward to a good school year. But that’s not how things turn out. First, one of the most influential mothers at the school, Renata Klein, claims that another boy, Ziggy Chapman, bullied and hurt her daughter, Amabella. Ziggy claims he’s innocent, and his mother, Jane, believes him. But Renata is extremely influential. So, Bec is soon caught in the proverbial crossfire between ‘team Renata’ and ‘team Jane.’ At first, as you would imagine, her impulse is to stop the bullying immediately, and to protect Amabella. But as time goes on, we learn that things aren’t as simple as they seem. As if this isn’t enough, the school’s big fundraiser, a Trivia Night, ends in tragedy. As the story goes on, we learn more about the characters, about what’s behind their closed doors, so to speak, and about what leads to the tragedy.

Students do best when their parents and teachers work together. But that doesn’t always happen, and, in fact, that relationship can be very tense indeed. Perhaps that’s why it can add such interesting ‘spice’ to a crime novel.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater’s Here at Horace Green.

18 Comments

Filed under Agatha Christie, Herman Koch, Liane Moriarty, Paddy Richardson, Peter Robinson

Looking at Pictures on Facebook*

The EU and other groups have created several rules and policies that are intended to protect people’s privacy. And it is good for people to know who has what information about them, and how that information is used. But the fact is, plenty of us freely provide information about ourselves without perhaps being aware that that’s what we’re doing. Do you ever order anything online? Then some merchant has your address, records of what you buy, and so on. Do you post reviews on Yelp or other, similar sites? Then it’s easy to work out where you eat and stay, what sorts of products you buy, and more.

Let me, if I may, share one example. Not very long ago, my husband and I were in the market for a mattress. We did some online research and chose a few places to visit for price and feature comparisons. We made our selection and completed the purchase. The very next day, I started seeing several ads for mattresses at different online sites I visited. It’s no great secret that we made that purchase, but it did make me think about how easy it is to find out how many children someone has (and what they look like – just look at Facebook if you don’t believe me), where someone shops, where and when people travel, and lots more.

As you might expect, this issue of online privacy, and how much information we willingly share, comes up a lot in modern crime fiction. There are all sorts of plot lines that can come from the topic, too, if you think about it. Here are just a few of many examples out there.

In Alafair Burke’s 212, we are introduced to Megan Gunther, an undergraduate student at New York University (NYU). Like many young people, she’s ‘plugged in’ to social media, and has joined an online forum called Campus Juice. It’s a space where members post information about events, share informal reviews, and pass along gossip. One day, Megan finds to her horror that someone has posted her class schedule. As if that’s not enough, her personal schedule (e.g. when she goes to the gym, where and when she eats, and so on), are also posted. The post ends with this cryptic warning:
 

‘Megan Gunther, someone is watching.’
 

Megan hadn’t made a big secret of her schedule, but it’s unsettling to know that someone got that information and has made it public. When she is later found stabbed, NYPD detectives Ellie Hatcher and J.J. Rogan investigate. They find that her murder is actually connected to two other murders they’re investigating.

Michael Connelly’s The Fifth Witness features Lisa Trammel, who has been charged with murdering Mitchell Bondurant, the mortgage officer who was handling Trammel’s mortgage. Trammel had plenty of motive, too, as the bank was about to foreclose on her home. What’s more, she is an active member of FLAG, a citizen group that has been protesting banks’ foreclosure policies. Attorney Mickey Haller (one of Connelly’s protagonists) takes the Trammel case. He doesn’t believe she’s guilty of murder. If he’s going to win the case, though, he’s going to have to show how she might have been set up to seem guilty. He thinks he may have what he needs when discovers that Trammel had a Facebook page where she posted news about FLAG’s activities. One of the bank’s employees ‘friended’ Trammel, and so, had access to a lot of information about FLAG. It’s quite possible that that person could have been involved in setting her up. And the more Haller looks into what’s going on at the bank, the more people with motives he finds.

Herman Koch’s The Dinner is the story of two families: Paul and Claire Lohman; and Paul’s brother Serge, and his wife Babette. The two couples meet for dinner one evening at an ultra-exclusive Amsterdam restaurant. As the meal goes on, we learn more and more about these people as the proverbial layers get peeled away. There’s a great deal of dysfunction in both families, and we learn about that as the evening progresses. We also learn the reason the couples met. Both of them have fifteen-year-old sons; together, they committed a terrible crime. What’s more, it can’t be hushed up, because the crime was recorded, and one of the boys’ friends uploaded the recording to YouTube. Now, the two sets of parents have to work out what they’re going to do about the situation.

In Donna Malane’s My Brother’s Keeper, Wellingtono-based missing person expert Diane Rowe gets a new client. Former prison inmate Karen Mackie hires Rowe to find her fourteen-year-old daughter Sunny, who’s been living with her father Justin. Justin has legal custody of Sunny, but Karen doesn’t know where they are. Diane takes the case and begins the work of finding the girl. That part turns out to be fairly straightforward. Convincing Sunny to talk to her mother is going to be the real challenge. And, as Diane gets more involved in the case, it becomes clear that things are not what they seem, and that more is going on here than a mother who lost her way and now wants another chance. I don’t want to say much more for fear of spoilers. But I can say that one plot thread involves some photographs that were meant to be private…but ended up on the Internet. It’s an example of how people can sometimes get information, photographs, and more, whether we want them to or not.

And then there’s Sinéad Crowley’s Can Anybody Help Me? In that novel, Gerry and Yvonne Mulhern move from London to Dublin, so Gerry can take advantage of a lucrative job opportunity. With them, they bring their newborn daughter. Since Gerry’s not home much, it mostly falls to Yvonne to take care of the baby’s many needs. She’s overwhelmed as it is, and she doesn’t really know anyone in Dublin. So, she doesn’t have a support network. Then, she discovers an online forum called Netmammy, a support group for new mothers. Yvonne finally finds the support and camaraderie she needs. Then, one of her online contacts goes ‘off the grid.’ Not long afterwards, the body of an unknown woman is discovered in an abandoned apartment. Could it be Yvonne’s friend? If so, what does that mean for Netmammy? Throughout the novel, we see how many very personal things people sometimes post quite willingly. And that plays its role in the story.

That’s the thing about online life. We want (and deserve) our privacy. At the same time, people often give up a lot of their personal information without even being aware that that’s what they’re doing. It’s a reality of this new information age.

 

 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Michael Rosenberg’s (AKA Passenger) Facebook.

13 Comments

Filed under Alafair Burke, Donna Malane, Herman Koch, Michael Connelly, Sinéad Crowley