UNCERTAINTY by Michael Larsen


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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 truth. Despite the fortuitous testimony of an alibi witness, the Copenhagen police still think celebrity-hunting newspaperman Martin Molberg killed his live-in fiancÇe 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 truth 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-minute moderns have developed to distance themselves from themselves. (First printing of 35,000)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-100202-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1996