Sunday 20 September 2020

Last post for summer...

It’s a bit cool this morning, but it's bright and sunny and it’s going to be a lovely end-of-summer day.  The leaves are starting to change and it won’t be long before the trees will be on fire with gorgeous fall colours.  It will be getting warmer over the course of the week, but right now it’s still cool enough to enjoy my steaming cup of chai, along with a slice of freshly baked Banana Bread and a Date Bar.  I couldn't imagine a more perfect morning.

Last week I read an unexpectedly powerful novel by German defense lawyer-turned-author Ferdinand von Schirach, The Collini Case.  I had recently read The Girl Who Wasn’t There by this author, and I remember that I did not love it, but it interested me enough that I decided to get this earlier novel from the library, and I’m so glad I did!  This legal mystery opens with Italian-born Fabrizio Collini, posing as a journalist, being admitted to the hotel room of wealthy and well-respected retired German businessman Hans Meyer.  He proceeds to shoot Meyer several times and kick him in the head repeatedly.  He then goes down to the lobby, calls the police, and sits patiently, waiting for them to arrive.  Collini is offered legal counsel and young Caspar Leinen, newly appointed lawyer with his name on the roster, ends up with the case.  Little does Leinen know that the victim is Meyer, the grandfather of his deceased best friend, a man he has long considered a kind of father figure.  Added to this complication is the fact that Collini won’t offer any defense, and Leinen must search for clues as to motive on his own, digging deep into German history and examining the German legal system from every angle to come up with a reason for this seemingly random act of unusual cruelty.  What he uncovers will be sure to shock even the most historically knowledgeable reader.  It was a short novel that started off with a *bang*, then slowed to a crawl for much of the middle section, but then it picked up to a finale that was jaw-droppingly good.  If you read this novel, be sure to also read the notes and afterward, which really make this already-powerful story even more significant.  This book was recently made into a film, and I’ve just placed a hold on the DVD, which is currently on order at my public library.

That’s all for today.  Enjoy the sun and have a wonderful day!

Bye for now…

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