Friday, February 27, 2009

Review of Private Midnight by Kris Saknussemm

Private Midnight, by Kris Saknussemm is being released March 5th and is definitely worth the read.

Ritter is a police detective who has been through two divorces, lots of death, and plenty of guilt and fear. He is feeling lonely and tired. One day an old cop friend who is nothing but trouble drops off a business card on his desk; which will forever change his life.

Ritter meets a seductive woman who is mysterious and desirable. Now he only has her on his mind and things are starting to become very strange…

When I first started reading this book it felt like a 1920’s detective story – I thought of Dick Tracy: the smoke, the night, the ominous narrator, the dingy bars and the loud precinct. I thought it had the classic comic book detective story feel to it – it didn’t last that way.

Soon I wasn’t sure what to believe; I didn’t know what was really happening and what was being imagined. The story then started to remind me of The Machinist. Ritter seems obsessed, he is quickly losing weight, and odd things are happening. I kept expecting the end to reveal that Ritter was crazy and he was imagining everything.

Ritter becomes increasingly distressed. None of his clothes fit him, he can’t eat, he has no one to talk to, and he has blackouts and disturbing dreams and when he wakes up he is usually covered in an odd substance. All the while, his obsession with the mysterious woman becomes stronger and more dangerous.

I don’t think giving a no spoiler review can give this book justice. It is by far the weirdest book I have ever read. I think I uttered the words “what in the …” several times outloud. Some of the things in this book were absolutely disturbing.

When I got about half-way through the book I really didn’t want to keep reading. About two-thirds through the book I really didn’t like it much. When I finished the last page of the book I was so stunned I couldn’t hate the book and wanted everyone to read it so they could go through the same thing I did.

I don’t usually cuss, but if I had to give a one statement explanation of this book I would have to say it’s a psychological mind !#$%. I had a hard time getting through it, but the end was worth it. The psychological warfare is pretty intense and interesting. And I have never read an ending like this one.

Without knowing anything about the author I figured the writer was male, when I ended the book I thought the writer might be a woman! Which I think is quite genius and fitting. I won’t tell you if Kris is male or female, I think you should read and guess yourself, then read the bio! Primeval and psychological elements of sexuality, manhood, control, violence, fear, and darkness make this book quite fascinating.

I just finished Private Midnight and could go on and on about it, but I don’t want to give anything else away. Let me know if you read this. I would love to have a conversation about it!

Oh, and to address the "vampire" element. I was expecting this book to have the present popular vampire character, which it didn't. I do however, believe that describing a vampire in it's most basic and primeval form is quite fitting. Read it and tell me what you think.


Anonymous said...

i'm one third through this book right now, would love to share thoughts with you once i'm done

Ms. LuluBelle said...

I would love that! I keep trying to get everyone I know to read the book but none of them want to!

Anonymous said...

Picked it up by chance at the library. Am nearing the halfway point and agree..difficult to take at points but utterly fascinating Tripping over the vernacular , some cornball some hilarious. I plan on nicking a few quips to try out on friends.I'll check back in after the last page.
Think it would make a great film directed by Herzog,Lynch or perhaps Sodergergh. Benecio DelToro as Ritter?hmmm

Lindsay said...

Pilsen - let me know what you think after you read it! Would love to discuss.