Friday, August 7, 2009

Child's Play (Carmen Posadas)

As an avid reader of psychological mysteries, I was very excited to read this book. The description on the book jacket and the dark cover with the school uniform-wearing child made it seem like this novel would be The Bad Seed of the modern day.

Luisa, our narrator and bestselling author of mysteries, enrolls her preteen daughter, Elba, in the private school she once attended. On the first day of school, Luisa discovers that her old friend, Sofia, is Elba's teacher. Another friend from long ago, Miguel, is the father of one of Elba's classmates. These three were somehow involved in the death of Miguel's twin, Antonio, many years before.

Elba is a strange character indeed, and the reader never knows quite how to take her. She is entranced with things that a preteen girl has no business being entranced with. Unbelievably, another death occurs in Elba's school that mimics Antonio's. Between understanding the details of these two deaths and keeping track of the advent of Luisa's new novel, the reader can get terribly confused.

This novel was less than enthralling. I found myself only able to read a few pages at a time without having to put it down and take some Tylenol. The paragraphs were entirely too long and riddled with bad metaphors. Comparing a man's pink socks to two cones of raspberry ice cream was too much for me. Posadas is trying to be too literary here and lost what could have been a humdinger of a whodunit.