September 06, 2011


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If there is a mystery premise more original than Zoran Drvenkar’s Sorry—sorry, I cannot bring it to mind. Four German 20-something borderline losers come up with an idea for a business venture: If you have done somebody wrong, and you are too timid, too busy or too removed from the situation to effectively apologize, you can hire their agency to do it for you. The name of the agency: Sorry. They will charge you an exorbitant fee, and they will make amends on your behalf. Their clients include businesses, the lovelorn and, most recently, a brutal killer who nailed his victim to a wall with long spikes through her hands and forehead, leaving the mess for the Sorry personnel to clean up. The killer has done his homework: He knows all of the skeletons in the Sorry closets, and he is quite confident that he can manipulate the staff into doing his bidding—repeatedly. Sorry changes perspective from chapter to chapter, giving the reader unusual first-person insight into the characters and their motivations, with a wild card outsider perspective unrevealed until the very end. Dark, demented, radical and grotesquely humorous, Sorry upends every convention of modern fiction craft, and brilliantly. Indeed, Sorry might well be the Mystery of the Year!


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