Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Quiet Vendetta by RJ Ellory

___ stars (see below)
R- 3.5
lots of profanity

*This book came all the way from the State Library of Louisiana for me to read it.  I don't think it was published in the US and apparently that was the nearest copy my library could find.  Pretty cool, huh?*
How can one book be so beautiful and so terrible at the same time?

Now, I am NOT saying that this book is terrible, just dark.  Very very dark.  With a fair amount of profanity.

Take the darkest, creepiest Criminal Minds you can think of (like, say, the Tim Curry episode-- holy freakin' creepiness!) and multiple it by 10 or so.  That kind of dark.

And yet, so beautifully written.  Achingly, hauntingly beautiful.  RJ Ellory has a mastery of language that is poetic and nearly Shakespearean.  The descriptions, especially the descriptions of New Orleans early on in the book, are vibrant and pulsing with life.  They want to be read aloud.  You can all but hear them as you read.

So, while disturbing-- a good 40% or so of the narrative is a mafia hitman telling his life-story-- it's also fascinating.  The concept and set-up is clever and very well-executed.

And oh my gosh, it could make a GREAT movie.

Which leaves me torn.  I got bogged down in the darkness.  Detailed description after detailed description of brutal, ruthless murders.... who wouldn't get bogged down, right? 

It took me forever to read, and there were parts I simply did not enjoy.  But on the other hand, there were so many parts that I did.

And I simply can't give a bad rating to such amazing writing.

So maybe it's a love-hate thing.  I don't know.

I would recommend it, if you don't mind dark.  But then again, I don't usually mind dark and this about did me in.

Counts for the Support Your Local Library Challenge... and also supported a non-local library, lol.


  1. Hmmm...sounds interesting. Maybe something for me to try later on.

  2. Most definitely interesting. :)