Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Three-Day Event by Barbara Kay


I picked this book up because I saw the author interviewed on our noontime local news here in Montreal and the interviewer, Mutsumi Takahashi, said she quite enjoyed it and didn't know who the killer was until the end. And the book takes place in what we call the Eastern Townships, just south of where I life outside of Montreal. I've become a fan of mysteries set in my environs and, I must add, and the price was right. :)

The first chapter of the book was almost enough to put me off. It's set over in England and uses every last clich├ęd stereotype of the 'horsey set' going. Not only that, the author is very, very, VERY wordy. God, I wanted a red pen.

But I perservered, not convinced that it would get better, but willing to donate another half hour to the cause.
With the second chapter, we moved to Quebec and began to meet more characters who, while being stereotypical also rang more or less true because I knew people a lot like them. I was drawn into their stories and their secrets. See, it wasn't much because of the actual crimes committed, but the secrets that everyone involved seemed to be hiding. THAT'S what caught me. Yes, Kay continued to use a dozen words and 3 paragraphs when one simple sentence would have done, but I have to say, I got used to it fairly quickly.

The book is set in the early 1990's and the depiction of the language tensions and realities of Township Quebec in that era is fairly bang on.. There were a few things I took issue with and rolled my eyes ... for instance, I'm not convinced that the Quebecois used the slurish "pepsi" to describe themselves. I have to admit, the book felt like it was written by an anglo from Ontario - and that's maybe something only one brought up in Quebec would understand/feel. Anti-semitism is a big part of the plot and I can honestly say that this part is, sadly, for the most part authentic, even if I think the author had a bit of an ax to grind. If you don't research the author, then you likely wouldn't feel that way.

But, all in all, it was an entertaining read once I got into it. I had my suspicions about the guilty part a little past halfway through, but I was never certain. But, like I said, for me it became about all the other secrets. I just find myself wishing she'd used less words!

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