Fir by Sharon Gosling
From the publisher that brought us the good ‘Flesh and Blood’ comes this inept tale of a family in remote Sweden. While this had promise at first, it is a regrettable thing that it soon squandered that promise by an over reliance on whining, weird trees and an obvious baddie and OTT emotional distress. The toxic environment, bickering and fighting shatters all expectations. Significant concerns are ignored as people are pushed to the limit by whispers and legends and madness. Sense is steadfastly refused and this was dull.
“The needles pile up in -well, piles - all over the damn place.”
“They’ll be forever on the edge of things,”
“How’s mum doing today? Still staring at the wall?”
Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie
This was not good and was full of dated attitudes to adoption and mental illness. It is the 1970s, so how old is Poirot? In this pretty grim and unmemorable tale, Poirot and Ariadne Oliver look into a long ago double death to uncover what really happened. This is not a minimalist and elegant tale. This has a heavy reliance on portentousness and high drama and tragedy. This was silly, illogical and full of damning consequences.
How old is Ariadne Oliver supposed to be? An inherently knowingly evil type is behind it all. This has no reasonableness and logic is effectively non-existent. People have chillingly horrific (non) reactions to inherently comical revelations that are done with such seriousness. This centres on an obvious violent vengeful destructive asshole who can go choke. Slightly unsayable things are said and I was not actually obliged to care. I absolutely detested this fraught tale of socially created identities.
“The sacred edifice.”
“Country house hat.”
“Has to be stopped from living.”
“She took you away from me and made you marry her.”
“Not because he had done a murder but because he wouldn’t help anyone to prove that he hadn’t.”
“Many people who had heard of Hercule Poirot and known him, were now reposing with suitable memorial stones over them, in church yards.”
“Not for pop singers, of course. They hadn’t happened yet.”