Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 18 June 2013
Firstly, the cover of this book would put me off buying it unless I was only going to read it hidden away at home and/or in bed - it's not a good look in the office, park or on public transport. Notwithstanding appearances, I read the book to give my honest opinion on the actual story and writing and by chapter three I was losing the will to live ! The language and diction is so grandiose and pompous that I thought I'd slipped into a Thursday morning of Melvyn Bragg on Radio 4. Some word examples that are over the top are - splenetic, logorrrhoea, sycophantic, physiognomy, sacristan, caesura - all in the space of a few pages. The author may not be at all pompous but the translation from French appears that way. Descriptions of situations and reasoning are also long-winded and over the top. There were four full pages of what David's face physically looked like to him in the mirror - vain or what !
The actual story itself felt slow to take off and but there were little moments that made you think that this is going to build into something good. The basic story is of David having numerous one night stands behind his wife's back, mainly because he has some sort of mental sexual problem. He has a very stressful job and the financial and political nature of being in control of the building of the tallest construction in France is a major part of the story, and some parts of that are very interesting. A lot of the analysis of David's infidelities is to justify that the numerous one night stands he has are not affairs or being unfaithful because he only sees them once and his wife doesn't know about it. Victoria is a married high-flying HR executive travelling all around the world and seeks sexual pleasure from men other than her husband to relieve her stresses. One year after David and Victoria meet, Victoria is dead and David is homeless and questioned by the police for her murder. This all comes out early on in the book and the reader moves back and forth in time to give the full year's story.
The book really only deserves three stars because it is fairly average in content and the writing is irritating but, the last hundred or so pages are really quite exciting and build to a very good end so overall I would like to lift it to three and a half but not quite four stars. If you want erotic and thrilling then this book doesn't quite add up to that, in fact the sex (barely erotic) didn't start until well after a hundred pages.