(originally posted on January 7, 2009)
This is a hard-bitten, unnerving piece of work, largely and unjustly overlooked by me until I stumbled across it in a bookstore and, thinking I'd read a few pages, finished most of it standing up and the rest in a nearby chair. There are two couples, a brother and a sister with respective partners. There are weddings and love affairs, secret schemes and violent twists. And there is betrayal, oh so much betrayal. Viel's writing is so crisp it practically singes with blackness, and his outlook is arch and bleak. I do like discovering new authors, don't you?