Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar (3.5/5)

First published: 2009
Original title: Sorry
Original language: German
Translation to English by: Shaun Whiteside

Page count: 388

The back says: Berlinn. Four friends. One extreme idea.

Kris, Tamara, Wolf and Freuke set up an agency called SORRY. An agency to right wrongs. Unfair dismissals, the wrongly accused: everyone has a price, and SORRY will find out what that is. It’s as simple as that. What they hadn’t counted on was their next client being a cold-hearted killer. But who is the killer and why has he killed? Someone is mocking them and their hell is only beginning.

I say: Well, this was hard to put down once I started reading. I generally don’t like crime novels, but I gave this a shot because I liked the idea of the agency apologising for people.

How convenient.

Each of the four friends are the focus in alternating chapters, which are narrated by an annoying omniscient presence that won’t stop inserting inane information about what is about to happen and what we should have learned from reading other novels. There are two more characters, one entitled The Man Who Wasn’t There and the other You – in these chapters the narrator addresses the reader as if s/he is the character in the book, as such:

“You are surprised how easy it is to track her down” (p. 1).

I found this to be rather annoying as well, and try as I did, I could never get into it.

The biggest mystery of the novel was finding out who You was, which I pride myself in doing prior to the big reveal. Having done that, there were a few moments of tension and then it all ended in a rather meh tone.

I was disappointed.

More than anything this was a very disturbing novel, containing vivid descriptions of child pornography and torture, which I wouldn’t have started had I known about it beforehand. There are a few things I try to stay away from, and children being hurt is one of them.
3.5/5 because it was a great idea, somewhat nicely done, but ultimately too graphic for my liking.

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