Monday, August 27, 2007

Minotaur by Barbara Vine

It is nice to find a book that catches me off guard; one that casts a spell within the first chapter, enticing me to keep reading. the Minotaur proved to be such a book.

When I woke early Saturday morning I finished one book and reach to the stack to find the next entry on my "must read" list. It was the Minotaur. I don't remember getting this book. I didn't remember anything about the book. Based upon the book cover, I honestly wasn't sure why I picked the book as I am a bit leery of mysteries set in the English countryside. (There are some great books based in England, but there are some that I don't like as well). I will usually give each book in my stack a chance. I am very glad I did.

The Minotaur caught me off guard. I read the entire book on Saturday. I simply had to find out what happened. The twists and tangles of this book are subtle with more attention being given to the psyche of the characters than on violence (of which there is extremely little for a thriller/mystery)

Kerstin Krist travels to England to spend a year working for John Cosway at his family home, Lydstep Old Hall in rural Essex. John was diagnosed with childhood schizophrenia. IN order to "control" him, the family doctor and his mother have him kept under heavy sedation. Kerstin is brought in to the house to accompany John on his walks. She quickly finds herself in the midst of a house of cards, fragile and ready to collapse.

The story is told through Kerstin's eyes - flashing between the 1990's (now) and the 1960's, when the incidents occurred. Through Kerstin's eyes, the reader explores the varying relationships, power plays, personalities, and the shadows that play throughout the plot. As family secrets are revealed, the plot twists, and the wind blows shifting the ground upon which the house is built.

Is John truly suffering from schizophrenia? Does he commit the acts of which he is so quickly accused? What motives drive the actions of each character? Will there be a happy ending? Can there be a happy ending?

Vine did a wonderful job with this book - just enough to tell the story while leaving some out for the reader to envision. The story is well told, characters are well developed, and the plot offers enough to hold ones attention.

1 comment:

Airam said...

I love books that catch you off gaurd like that and want to make you keep reading until the end in one take. Thanks for the suggestion!