The Players and The Game by Julian Symons
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I have a lot of work these days and thus am not in a mood for serious literature. Julian Symons' "The Players and the Game" is an altogether forgettable British mystery with a twist: it features Count Dracula as well as Bonnie Parker, the one of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame. There is torture - cutting living bodies to ribbons, sucking blood, genital mutilation, and - worst of all - there are quotes ascribed to Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.
The first third of the novel is the set-up. There are too many characters, and I have found it impossible to keep track who is who, even though I make notes as I read. The social life of middle-class characters in a small British town, close to London, is shown realistically, but the passages are frankly boring.
The rest of the novel resembles a police procedural. When reading mysteries or crime novels I am usually not interested in "who did it". If you are into this kind of thing, though, I have to warn you that I guessed correctly about 25% into the novel. The book is well written, but ultimately not that interesting, and the Nietzsche quotes are nauseating (but then I suffer from a severe case of nietzschephobia).
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