The Last Weynfeldt

Martin Suter, trans. from the German by Steph Morris. New Vessel (newvesselpress.com), $14.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-939931-27-6
Fans of sensitive, slightly aloof Euro-thrillers—think Stefan Zweig or filmmaker Claude Chabrol—will recognize the metier of Swiss writer Suter, who here leavens the sensationalism of crime fiction with psychological insight and melancholy. Adrian Weynfeldt is an aging bachelor defined by his work buying and selling paintings for a Zurich-based auction house, the haunting memory of his aristocratic family, and his Thursday lunches with his failed artist friends (for whom he generally picks up the tab). Weynfeldt seems condemned to a predictable life until he finds himself abruptly departing from the security of routine. First, he falls for a young femme fatale named Lorena, who threatens suicide after their first encounter and, days later, is caught shoplifting from a department store. Then he becomes embroiled in an art forgery caper masterminded by old family friend, Klaus Baier, who’s everything Weynfedlt isn’t: desperate, impulsive, and materialistic. As his affair with Lorena becomes more passionate (and her behavior more worrying) and the immoral Baier tightens his grasp, Weynfeldt finds himself oddly revivified by the thrill of being taken advantage of—but eventually he will have to choose between his reckless new life and the humdrum safety of the old. Suter is neither overtly experimental nor given to particularly gritty prose, but this is a refreshing book nonetheless, comfort food for readers who crave memorable characters, romance, and touching, drawn-from-life scenes. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 02/01/2016
Open Ebook - 303 pages - 978-1-939931-32-0
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