‘Beyond Suspicion’ a tiny mystery


  Tanguy Viel’s slim mystery “Beyond Suspicion” doesn’t offer much by way of suspense.
  What it does offer is a fine example of excellent writing.
  This novella about love and greed, translated from French by Linda Coverdale, features two lovers who pose as siblings, luring a wealthy man into marriage and ultimately blackmail.
  Not much happens in “Beyond Suspicion” that can’t be seen coming a mile away. Even the ending will hold no surprises for most readers. But the lack of twists doesn’t necessarily take away from this well-written story.
  Author Jonathan Lethem praises the book in the foreword.
  The lineaments of the tale echo a thousand others, creating a narrative spell trafficking less in surprises or shocks than in an undertow of doomy inevitability, inciting a reader’s perverse craving to understand how the ancient fates will exactly be distributed among this latest cast of the damned. Noir is above all in the details, and Viel unfolds his with the restraint and confidence of a stage-magician mastering an auditorium with a mere deck of cards.
  While “Beyond Suspicion” is finely crafted, it still is a $20 book that can be read in one sitting. Those of you who are regular readers of The Book Nook already know what I’m going to say about that: A book that takes me an hour to read isn’t worth $20 to me.
  “Beyond Suspicion” certainly is worth checking out at the library, or for the more brazen, pick up a latte and plop down in a chair at your favorite bookstore. You can read it right there and decide for yourself if it’s a keeper worth your dough.