Dinosaur Feathers

Dinosaur Feathers

by Sissel-Jo Gazan

Paperback

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857380333
Publisher: Quercus Books
Publication date: 05/28/2011

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Dinosaur Feathers 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ebyrne41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Danish author new to me. I quite liked this first novel, but maybe too much of the scientific, it was a little laborious at times (the author is a biologist and does tend to indulge in her specialist topic!). Otherwise good plot and characterisation, and well written.
Eyejaybee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yawnwwwwwwwwn!Another melancholic Scandinavian crime story with far too much emphasis on mood and not enough effort expended on plotting or character development.I wish this Dane had stuck to pastries.
austcrimefiction on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
January is often a very good reading month for some reason. That alone doesn't make a lot of sense - it's normally hot enough to melt the tin on the roof, which isn't conducive to concentration. Making THE DINOSAUR FEATHER look like a rather risky choice. At 535 pages it was way too big for any struggle with concentration, and after starting the book and finding myself deep in discussions on paleo-ornithology and not a lot of "crime action", I was feeling somewhat sceptical to say the least. Add to that a central character who is just a little inclined to be whingy, very prickly, with more than a hefty dose of self-entitlement and I really did question my sanity for starting this book off at this time of the year.But there can be something appealing about the idea of a character being somewhat unpleasant, as long as there is a very realistic feel to the portrayal. Leaving aside a slight personal tendency to sympathise with prickly, Anna Bella Nor is extremely realistic. Complicated, with a messy personal life, she's completely focused on the completion of her degree to the detriment of many of her personal relationships. Not that her relationship with her divorced parents ever seems to have been plain sailing. Her dislike and antagonism for her supervisor - Professor Lars Helland - isn't hidden, even when his sudden and very odd death becomes the subject of a police investigation. In contrast to Anna, her colleague Johannes is considerably more placid, accepting and caring. He's got a lot more reasons for life to disappoint than Anna, yet he's always able to see the good side in the people around them. Superintendent Soren Marhauge is also a man with a complicated personal life, full of regret and loss, yet he is also more like Johannes in outlook, if not lifestyle - he also finds himself dangerously fascinated by Anna Bella.Looking at that summary it would be very easy to assume that this is yet another book in which the women are volatile and complicated and the men all tolerant and straightforward. Goodness knows I've been dragged down that path a bit recently. Whilst there is a lot of that classification going on, this author has managed to create a level of reality to these people that doesn't exaggerate the roles or overplay that comparison. Anna Bella is a tricky woman to deal with (as is her mother), but there are also kind, controlled women around them, and not everything in Anna Bella is bad, or wrong, or off kilter. The men may seem controlled, kind and wise, but they are all hiding secrets and behaviour which is less than perfect. It's those aspects of the characters that keeps them from feeling like roles have been assigned for the purposes of creating a reaction, and more like people who could very well be the reader, or people the reader knows.Be warned though, it takes quite a while for the "crime" to happen in this book, possibly because there are all these complicated and rather fraught personal backgrounds and relationships. There's a lot of stuff that's not directly related to the crime itself going on, and whilst some of that did get a little repetitive at points, and there was just a slight inclination to tell, rather than show; mostly the plot, the story and all it's elements filled the 535 pages pretty successfully. Having said that, you're going to have to find the world of the evolution of birds and their relationship to dinosaurs interesting because at some points in the book you'll be pulled well into the discussion. Not, I'd hasten to say, in an overly scientific or learned manner, all of the information was quite readable, and personally I found it quite fascinating. Perhaps because it was compelling it didn't always feel like too much of a distraction or deviation from the crime itself.The cause and resolution of the crime, getting back to the point of crime fiction after all, was nicely constructed, and despite one of the most bizarre methods of killing I've come across in a