I read lots of mysteries and spy fiction, and over the years I’ve grown lazy in my reading and in my life. These novels, and these days, have a structure and pattern that are easy to spot and comfortable to follow. This, and then this, and then this—and never this.
Paul Vidich’s new novel, The Matchmaker, breaks the pattern. I had been enjoying the familiar flow of the story, about a woman in 1989 Berlin whose husband, a piano tuner, disappears, and who learns that she didn’t know him at all. Then, suddenly, the story is ripped open by the forces of history—the time and place will tell you which ones—and the narrative explodes.
I first saw this rupture as a flaw, but, as I went about my carefully ordered day, it occurred to me that interruptions, even ruptures, can be good. And in fact, Vidich rights the ship and sets the story back on a course that is rougher but richer.
I think I’ll read another Paul Vidich book. While I’m at it, maybe I’ll get really crazy and take my walk at a different time.
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