The roadtrip begins with a stop at Bea’s brother’s in Burgundy. Always the schlub of the family, he has been set up as the proprietor of a sagging bed-and-breakfast. In a constant state of (dis)repair, it would seem that Alex has spent more time pretending there have been guests than fixing the place up. The younger generation then prepares for a visit from the parents with dread.
Perhaps there was something about knowing the horrible crime had been committed, was already out in the real world, that he wasn’t inventing it, that allowed Nabokov to finally put his novel into a cohesive form.
The desire to know whodunit keeps the reader coming back, but the overall story isn’t one that will stick with the reader for its depth or even wild cleverness. It is simply a solid suspense novel — and sometimes that’s what you want to read.
McNamara outlines the specifics of the mystery in searing exactitude. She pulls bizarre and vivid details from witness statements and police reports, breathing new life into the cold case.
A calm of pleasure listens round / And almost whispers winter bye / While fancy dreams of summer sounds / And quiet rapture fills the eye… ~ from “The Shepherds Calendar – February – A Thaw” by John Clare