Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
May 21, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Hamilton Case

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Michelle de Kretser
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B

Sam Obeysekere, an unlikable, emotionally shut-down Ceylonese lawyer, seems incapable of connecting with his plodding wife, his narcissistic mother, or his colleagues. Presented with an unsolved murder, Obeysekere, who feels the world has failed to recognize his worth, attacks the case with a zealous pompousness that leads to inevitable hubris. De Kretser’s sparkling language is balanced beautifully against Obeysekere’s flatness of character — months in the mother’s life are ”marbled with lunacy”; another character is a ”round guava of a woman, thick-waisted and blunt-nosed” — so it is easy to overlook pacing that is too languid for a novel that masquerades as a mystery.

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