What to read, what to watch

Shadow is both a mystery and a thriller.  It’s by Swedish author, Karin Alvtegen.  Her attention to detail about a marriage gone wrong, about a wayward son, and a depressed daughter seem right on.  The spurned wife gathers strength as the relationships flounder.  Shadow is a masterpiece.

The novel centres on a writer who has won the Nobel prize, and is successful and wealthy.  It’s also about the family’s housekeeper who listens and notes everything that goes on — and says nothing — even if when what she knows would save a life.  Two other less successful writers are trying to push the Nobel winner off his pedestal.  The plot is fascinating and believable.  It’s a murder mystery with many victims.  It’s a thriller with no smoking gun.  Worth reading! shadowGet it at the library as an e-book!

I like the German filmmaker Doris Dorrie.  Her 2007 film Cherry Blossoms is a delight. A 65 year old man who lives with his wonderful wife decides to visit each of his three grown children.  They are not so interested in his visit, because their lives are quite separate from his and they are no longer trying to please him.  The first half of the film is familiar territory, but done in a way that catches the viewer off-guard.  His third child lives in Tokyo, so the dad decides to visit.  The son is a stock broker (or a guy in finance) and is impatient and slightly mean.  The film’s focus turns from the family squabbling to the father discovering the arts, and  street performers.  It’s a clever and masterful film.

cherryGet it from the library

A Swedish murder mystery series, Maria Wern, is a bit tame, but you get a good look at a small city on the island of Gotland off the east coast of Sweden. A bit of running around, some driving, not much  shooting — and the criminals are always bad guys.  There are a few seasons of  Maria Wern, at the library on DVD.maria


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