Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Interpretation of Murder

Just finished reading Jed Rubenfeld's The Interpretation of Murder and I really enjoyed it, although the plot seemed rather convoluted. It also irked me how poorly it was copy-edited because in a number of instances I came across the same mistake straight out of Grammar 101: the use of "should of" or "would of" instead of "should've" or "would've". Granted, the only time contractions are normally used in a novel is in dialogue, but couldn't the characters' speech have been presented grammatically correct, despite how they may have pronounced things?

This isn't the novel I would typically choose to read. I first heard about it last summer from my now-former manager. His wife was reading it and he was compelled to read it himself. When I came across the title amongst Chapters.Indigo's Bargain Books, I decided to add it to my cart as one of the title to make up my min. $39 spend for free shipping. It was a quick read and certainly suspenseful. I'd recommend if you lean towards thrilling mysteries for your beach-time reads.

From the dust jacket:

The Interpretation of Murder opens on a hot summer night in 1909 as Sigmund Freud - already world famous and highly controversial - disembarks in New York from a steamship. With Freud is his rival Carl Jung; among those waiting to greet him is Dr. Stratham Younger, a gifted physician who is one of Freud's most ardent American supporters. And so begins the visit that will be the great genius's first - and only - journey to America

The morning after Freud's arrival, in an opulent penthouse across the city, a barely clad, beautiful woman is discovered murdered - whipped, mutilated, and strangled with a white silk tie. The next day, a rebellious heiress named Nora Acton barely escapes becoming the killer's second victim. yet the lovely Miss Acton, suffering from hysteria, cannot remember the terrifying incident or her attacker. Asked to consult on the case, Dr. Younger calls on the visiting Freud to guide him through the girl's analysis. As Younger is drawn into her story - her desire to attend college, her rich, difficult parents, her rejection of the mogul who has fallen in love with her - he comes to care deeply for this remarkable young woman, even as he discovers that she may still be in grave danger. Then Younger is pulled into another crisis: he learns of a series of bizarre events suggesting a conspiracy to ruin Freud's reputation.

Joining forces with the mayor, the city's eccentric coroner, and a young homicide detective named Jimmy Littlemore, Younger takes part in a murder investigation that reveals the divided soul of a great metropolis on the verge of a sophisticated, violent new era. The chase of the culprit leads throughout New York, from the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria to the luxurious salons of Gramercy Park, from the rising skyscrapers that seem to dot every street corner to the bottom of the East River, where labo(u)rers are working on the new Manhattan Bridge.

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