Thursday, November 15, 2007
While Framed by Tonino Benacquista doesn’t follow a detective, its protagonist is definitely hard-boiled. Antoine is a victim of a heinous beating in an art gallery who takes it upon himself to avenge the assault, which left him severely maimed and unable to continue his career as a professional pool player. Set in Paris, the mystery unfolds around an unusual painting whose exposure to the public sets off a spree of robbery and murder. Unfortunately Antoine, a picture hanger by day, has the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, thrusting him smack into the middle of a crime he could care less about, stealing art. This is crime fiction at its most satirical, Benacquista describes in detail the frustrations of a young man left unwhole while still seeing the humor in his situation.
The various characters Antoine meets as he prowls the art world are classic design/art snobs and the people who write about them--very funny. I also enjoyed Antoine’s desperate attempts to write his parents to inform them of his accident, and his final plea to his pool hall buddies to believe that he is not a murderer.
While Framed isn’t part of a series, I loved Benacquista’s writing style; it’s funny but gruesome, and equally gritty while describing both the high and low class worlds Antoine inhabits. It’s easy to get right into this book and keep going until you realize you’ve finished it in a matter of hours! Great read!
Posted by Ana Dziengel at 9:39 PM