DEATH FROM THE SNOWS by Brigitte Aubert
Translated by David L. Koral
Welcome Rain Publishers, 2000/September 2001 (English Translation)
Elise Andrioli is paralyzed except her left hand with which she can write, blind, and mute, yet she can hear what is going on around her--and what is going on is terrible. In a ski resort in the French Alps, someone is torture/murdering women and leaving Elise grim threats that she will be the next. While she visits an institution for the care of disabled patients, Elise feels the threat growing, yet can do nothing to head off the danger.
Author Brigitte Aubert does a powerfully convincing job describing the mental workings of a woman deprived of some of the most important human connections to the world. Elise keeps her cool, trying to reason her way through the horrible and irrational things that are going on around her while painfully dependent on others for her continued survival. The first two hundred pages of this novel are intriguing and cerebral, followed by fifty pages of action as the threat finally unveils itself and danger surrounds Elise.
Elise is a wonderful and fully developed character. Her thoughts offer insights not only into the crimes that she faces, but into the lives of those of us not limited by the damage Elise has suffered. I found Elise's gradual unveiling of the murders in the bulk of the novel to be more powerful than the pure thriller aspects of the conclusion. Did Aubert mean for the conclusion to be as darkly comic as it reads, or is this reviewer simply becoming cynical?
DEATH FROM THE SNOWS is a mature and memorable work from France's leading female thriller author.
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