Saturday, November 21, 2009

Suter, Martin: A Deal with the Devil

Sonia Freay is the divorced wife of a man who tried to kill her who is presently in a secure clinic awaiting trial. Although she does not need the money she takes a job as a masseuse at a remote hotel which has just re-opened. The young woman who owns the establishment seems rather unconcerned at the paucity of guests and also relatively undisturbed by a series of unexplained events in the hotel. Sonia has read the local legend of Devil of Milan and sees a correlation between what is happening and that legend though nobody else seems to agree - at first. She is in a somewhat disturbed state of mind which does not help matters. As events unfold she becomes increasingly scared for her own safety, especially when her ex-husband's mother turns up asking her again to drop he charges against him. The writing is straightfoward and economical and portrays both the atmosphere of the hotel and surroundings but also Sonia's reactions admirably. The climax when it comes is unexpected but consistent with what has taken place. A well-plotted novel by this excellent Swiss writer.

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