I am in the process of translating a, what could be called, "romantic suspense thriller" novel into German. (I hate genre labels, since they are limiting and often don't do the books justice). This encouraged me to reread a few of my German mystery novels. I came across the books by Ingrid Noll, a German author largely unknown in this country. One of them, "Der Hahn ist tot" (The rooster is Dead), tells the story of a frustrated, middle-aged woman with a difficult childhood, who lives a quite comfortable but boring, predictable life, devoid of passion and love. All of a sudden she meets an attractive writer/teacher and falls hopelessly in love. She is "on fire," as she says of herself. This "love," however, becomes an obsession and leads to a first death, for which Rosie, the heroine, is in part responsible. And now, she is on the path of destruction and no return. She feels she has a right to once be really happy, not just a bystander to other people's happiness, and to get what she wants for herself. And whoever stands in her way, watch out!
This isn't the kind of typical mystery novel, since we know from the beginning who commits the killings. But this knowledge doesn't kill the suspense, on the contrary. We witness and experience and even sympathize with the heroine, as she tries desperately to bend destiny to her advantage and another victim bites the dust.
The book is entertaining, funny, macabre, full of gallows humor. The German versions of her books can be found at Amazon.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
The criminal mind of a frustrated woman - dark and macabre humor
Christa Polkinhorn, originally from Switzerland, lives and works as writer and translator in the Los Angeles area, California. She divides her time between the United States and Switzerland and has strong ties to both countries. She is the author of five novels and a collection of poems. Her travels and her interest in foreign cultures inform her work and her novels take place in several countries. Aside from writing and traveling, she is an avid reader and a lover of the arts, dark chocolate, and red wine.