Larsen's 1994 novel, a bestseller in its native Denmark, is a deconstructionist detective story in which every scrap of...

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Larsen's 1994 novel, a bestseller in its native Denmark, is a deconstructionist detective story in which every scrap of evidence leads further away from the troth. Despite the fortuitous testimony of an alibi witness, the Copenhagen police still think celebrity-hunting newspaperman Martin Molberg killed his live-in fiancte Monique Milazar, an SAS flight attendant, two months ago. But Molberg knows better, or at least he thinks he does. He's followed a clue the cops ignored--a scrap of paper in Monique's apartment reading ""Jack Roth Pascal, Hotel Four Seasons, Room 505""--to Los Angeles, where he's trying to track down the elusive Pascal, whose name doesn't appear on any database his contacts can access. Through his buddy Lindvig, a video freak, Molberg gets experts to scrutinize a photo of Monique in flagrante with a strange man (Pascal?) till he's seen a lot more in that picture than he'd like. Suddenly remembering a CD he was asked to smuggle through customs by Natasha Noiret--the flight attendant who's taken Monique's place in his bed, and begun to take it in his dreams--he concocts a theory linking it to a sinister international conspiracy that dropped two million crowns into his joint account before leaving Monique dead. Pursuing the troth through a haze of Dexedrine, Thorazine, Prozac, Sulpril, and Unisom, Molberg finds himself less and less sure that he knows what he's talking about. ""Everything has a beginning, middle, and end,"" Molberg tells himself as he races down the last mile. ""This has to have an ending."" Despite the whodunit trajectory of the story, the echoes of Robbe-Grillet, John Hawkes, William Gibson, and J.P. Smith warn you not to count on it. A fast-moving thriller that's also a modish, moody catalogue of the number of tools--pills, liquor, psychotherapy, computers, the media--up-to-the-minu te moderns have developed to distance themselves from themselves.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harcourt Brace

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996