I’m quite used to having a dissenting opinion about a popular or much-praised book but in the case of THE BIRD TRIBUNAL by Agnes Ravatn I seem to be a completely lonesome voice. Whether on Good Reads or Amazon or blogs I enjoy like Raven Crime Reads or This Crime Book or Crime Fiction Lover everyone is raving about this book. Yet even though it’s only 185 pages short I was bored and waiting for it to start until the very last page. When I put it down in frustration.
The premise of the book is one I struggled with from the outset. It is the present day. A young woman – Allis Hagtorn – leaves her life for mysterious reasons and goes to look after a loner living in the woods at the edges of some un-named town whose wife is away. To me what follows is a whole lot of not very much followed by a fairly predictable ending. Neither the first person point of view from the frankly pathetic Allis nor the brooding loner (Sigurd Bagge) who is too mysterious for words engaged me and there are no other characters to speak of (save for the world’s unlikeliest shop keeper).
In short, it’s not for me.
But everyone else seems to think this book is haunting, suspenseful and tense and the characters compelling. So clearly I missed something.