Friday, November 30, 2012

25. Beast In View

By Margaret Millar

I was following a yoga video while Olman was bathing the baby when all of a sudden there was a loud boom and then everything was plunged into darkness.

My eyes were immediately drawn outside the window where just across the street a bright shower of sparks rained down from above like fireworks. Oil splattered on our poor neighbour’s black Audi. Turns out that the transformer across our building blew up. Perfect timing too, since this was the first cold night of winter (I think it was supposed to drop down to -15 C)!

The reason why I mention this event was because I finished reading Beast In View by candlelight. It turned out to be a cozy evening where we went out for dinner (shared a steak at Burger De Ville) and came home to read since there’s not much you can do sans electricit√©. Beast In View was a great read, even though I probably did not love it as much as Olman did.

It was Olman who happened to borrow this book for me when he was at La Bibliotheque Nationale. Since I’m a newish parent, I’ll let Olman’s review speak for me as well. But in a nutshell, the book starts off with a very intriguing mystery:  wealthy spinster, Helen Clarvoe, receives a prank call one day that impels her to hire an investigator. The story then evolves into a twisted tale full about a deeply dysfunctional family and the psychological (and homicidal!) ramifications that can bring.

… Then Miss Clarvoe stretched out her hand and Blackshear took it. 
    Her skin was cool and dry and stiff like parchment, and there was no pressure of friendliness, or even of interest, in her clasp. She shook hands because she’d been brought up to shake hands as a gesture of politeness. Blackshear felt that she disliked the personal contact. Skin on skin offended her; she was a private person. The private I, Blackshear thought, always looking through a single keyhole.

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