Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Rave for Kris Saknussemm's PRIVATE MIDNIGHT

P.P.O. Kane reviews Private Midnight, the acclaimed novel from Kris Saknussemm on The Compulsive Reader: "As an all-lights-blazing tour of one rogue cop’s interior hell, Private Midnight makes for a compelling psychological thriller. It is best seen, though, as a synthetic remolding of the crime novel, rather than a wholly original take on it. The ‘cult of woman’ or Fem Dom aspect is implicit in much hard-boiled fiction and many noir films (perhaps Hitchcock’s Vertigo, above all) . . . There is an old movie called The Seventh Victim, which like Private Midnight combines elements of detection and the supernatural. It ends with a woman, dressed for life and laughter, stepping out into the night. That is what we see. Yet what we hear is the sound of a chair falling – which is, as we know from previous frames, the sound of another less fortunate woman stepping off it and into a noose. We next hear the words, ‘I run to death and death meets me as fast. And all my pleasures are as yesterday.’ It is a stunning ending: elegiac, joyous, strange and perverse. Private Midnight has something of this same contradictory, impossible-to-process-all-at-once quality. Read it."

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