I am ecstatic right now. Damn near in shock. I have just experienced the thrill of reading what I am going to hold as one of the best crime novels I have ever read. In other words;
<b>BEST. CRIME NOVEL. EVER EVER EVER OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOGMOMGOGMOGM</b>
But seriously, I cannot get over how terrific, how amazing, this novel really is. Written in present tense (DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA HOW RARE THIS IS?!), in third person, the prose is sometimes bizarre and always slightly different to read. It is masterfully written, with excellent characters and dialogue that makes you understand, get to know and get a feel for the characters. This is very, very rare, especially in crime fiction. What's even more rare is doing it while the plot zips and zaps, moving along like a train at full speed (sorry, for that <i>terrible</i> metaphor, as I read this on a train...).
And I haven't even gotten to the plotting. Or the twists. Aaaaagghhhh it is so great.
We meet Alex, and she gets kidnapped. Police Commandant Camille Verhæven is reluctantly put on the case, along with some of his old friends, and they start looking for this girl. The only problem is, they have <i>nothing</i> to go on except for an eyewitness report. Every second matters, time is of the essence and nothing is as it seems.
This, my friends, is a crime novel. It's like someone took Silence of the Lambs, Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and threw them in a blender, then sprinkled some Sherlock Holmes on top, along with a dash of kidnapping-horror. It has everything you could ever ask for in a crime novel; shocking twists, gruesome descriptions of violent and gory acts, harrowing truths and a feeling of complete disbelief as you realize that you have no idea where this is going next. I scratched my head so many times, going "why is this happening now? This doesn't make sense..." and then, fifty pages later, I went "Oh shit. How the hell didn't I see that coming?". That is, if I had managed to close my dropped jaw and stopped reading for a moment to think, instead of just reading on, desperate to find out what would happen next.
If Gone Girl was last years' phenomenon, then I'll be damned if Alex shouldn't be this years. Crime thrillers this great are few and far in between. Someone needs to get off their ass and translate Lemaitre's other novels or else I'm learning french, just to keep reading. And when Hollywood gets ahold of this...
It's going to be <i>huge.</i> Mark my words. And read it now; you won't be sorry you did.