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Black Water Lilies: A Novel - Michel Bussi

Perfect. I'm trembling from all the Perfect. And when's the last time I kissed a book between finishing it and rushing to boot up the computer. Actually, you can count the number of times that has happened on the fingernails of one finger. But today, a kiss.


I'll preface the oncoming remarks---well, praise, it's gonna be all praise, forget this "remarks" malarkey--by saying that almost no Crime novels I read seem completely original at this point. I'm reminded of other Mysteries, on a Mystery by Mystery basis. So it's fair to say that this book has a sliver that, yes, does sort of remind me of, lo and behold, the other Crime Novel masterpiece I read just this year, Girl 4. I don't want to spoil two books at once, so I'll refer to both these instances as a "steady stream of significant nomenclature"...which got past me, of course...in both cases. Then there's the fact that once I got done with this, my earlier feeling that this book vaguely reminded me of Lackberg's The Stonecutter went from vague to more like, um, mental cement. I'll stop there--again, because I don't want to ruin three books in one review. (No, I would not be ruining four books--it would be three books, because I've used Black Water Lilies in tandem with two other books that have similar facets.) All this means is, I'm used to these kinds of feelings, and the great books make me proud to be fooled in a "same but different" manner. As long was we steer clear of a "the whole friggin book is a copy" feeling. And we did--boy, did we!


Short review HERE, if you are skimming, skipping, or you're bored by now and ready for closure: Mystery fans should all read this book. Okay, you can go now. Leave your name and number with the person at desk, and we'll call you if any more brilliant Crime novels turn up.


What follows is a short interlude, that must be thrashed out before a full 5 Star Rating, and this Review, can firmly be committed to:


left brain: "What about 'the cheat'? Didn't the author cheat. The not-fair thing..."


right brain: "Whu, what? You mean the, uh, the Undersea King stuff, shall we say? No, that was fine. That was fair. That was brilliant. In fact, that was more of a left-brain clue, so you're the one who dropped the ball on that one!"


left brain: "No, that was definitely a right-brain problem slash hint, and don't try and fob off your lack of epiphany on me. And I don't mean that part of the book, anyway...I mean, y'know, the big repetitious bit of sneaky, um...


right brain: "Oh, THAT! Hey, listen, half a brain, If THAT was a cheat, then Agatha Christie's Murder Of Roger Ackroyd is also a cheat, though a completely different cheat, no relation to the so-called cheat here--not spoiling anything here for eavesdroppers--but a comparable blanketing, all-encompassing cheatery that ends up dominating how the book actually works...underneath...till the end. And it was brilliant. How can an author walk away from ideas like these. Perfect idea, done spectacularly, and now everyone else would be copying."


left brain: "I suppose I don't care if an author pulls a cheat, as long as it's very cool, and made to feel NOT like a cheat, but like something no one has quite done before. I mean, I gave Ackroyd 5 Stars, and was fine with it...."


right brain: "then what the hell are ya squawkin about! no wonder heart likes me best."


left ventricle: "don't drag us into this. we loved it.' 


5 Stars stand.