Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Woman of the Dead by Bernhard Aichner

Scribner, 288 pages, $26, translated by Anthea Bell (release date - 8/25/15)

Brünhilde Blum prefers to go by just Blum. She loathes the name given her by her adoptive parents, just as she loathes those same parents. They owned a mortuary and her father trained her at a very, very young age to process the dead. Needless to say, Blum has a very practical, albeit skewed, view of death. In this way “Woman of the Dead” by Austrian author Bernhard Aichner is like no other, although there are homages paid to Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter and Steig Larsen’s Lisbeth Salander.

At the heart of the story is how the losses Blum experiences affect her view of the world. Instead of drawing inward, although she does do that for a time, she reaches out to help someone even more troubled than she. With her family’s love and support — and virtual ignorance of the real situation — Blum attempts to bring some evil men to justice. 

Aichner’s pacing is very different and off-kilter in a fascinating way. The violent acts and deaths are portrayed rather vividly. Blum is a provocative character. Her thought processes and resulting actions are impulsive and calculating at the same time. “Woman of the Dead” is an exemplary thriller.

No comments:

Post a Comment