Good connections

Posted: September 4, 2011 in films, France, Italy, Sweden

Don’t you love it when the characters in the book you are reading make a reference to a favourite book, or film. I always feel more involved in the story and make a closer connection with the protagonist.

This happened earlier in the year with Salvo Montalbano in Andrea Camilleri’s The Track of Sand...

He got into bed and started reading one of the Swedish books he had bought. Its protagonist was a colleague of his Martin Beck, whose manner of investigation he found very appealing.

And it happened again recently reading the excellent Blood Sisters by Alessandro Perissinotto

I saw his face in my mind:the large nose, the slightly bovine eyes, the offbeat charm. Yes, it was Jean Reno, and the other one, the younger man, was Vincent Cassel. Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel, together in a thriller. At last, I had it:The Crimson Rivers. A weird, dark atmospheric thriller.

I must have watched The Crimson Rivers about four times, and it helps my enjoyment that each time I forget what happens at the end. One advantage of an elderly memory, and my struggle to read sub-titles at the same time as following the action.

A fantastic crime thriller for most of its length, it decides to get a bit weird at the end, breaking a rule devised by Father Ronald Knox and the Detection Club, although I can’t recall any Chinamen in the story. 

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Norman – Oh, that’s happened to me, too! And yes, I enjoy it very much. For instance, one of the characters in Kathleen O’Neal Gear’s and W. Michael Gear’s The Visitant makes reference to Tony Hillerman’s work. I thoroughly enjoyed that connection.

  2. Maxine says:

    I approve of the Martin Beck choice but have not seen that film – maybe i should try it! (I do remember its significance for the plot of this book, though.)
    Steig Larsson has someone (Mickael?) reading quite a bit of crime fiction, including Val McDermid.
    I know there are more in my mind but can’t retrieve them at the moment, sorry!

  3. Norman says:

    Margot and Maxine, I had thought of several more, but after filling in part of an online tax form, and listing some VAT reclaims the retrieval mechanism in my brain stalled.
    I now know why HMRC [our equivalent to the American Internal Revenue Service, and the Italian Camorra ] give you an extra three months if you file online rather than use the paper form. It will take me at least a month to work out how to fill in the form!

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