One of the books in my summer reading was “The effect of Susan” by Peter Høeg. It was published even as early as last May, but a year passed before it hit my terrace.
Like a Hollywood action movie
“The effect of Susan” is a fast-paced futuristic crime thriller where people die on the strip around physicist genius Susan, which also has the unique personal capacity to cause an urge of other people to confide in her about the most personal secrets.
As Dan Brown’s series about Professor Langdon, the book contains a protagonist who has a unique knowledge of a subject, and as “Angels and Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code” it is designed as a Hollywood action movie with cliffhangers at the end of each chapter and a ticking clock, as Susan and her family must find some important information to the statesman Hegn to avoid being tried for murder. Using this recipe I wonder if it will soon be found on the silver screen too.
Linguistically scatters Peter Hoeg on with expressions of natural science and the world of physics. As a layman, it is impossible to assess whether the statements are true, but it creates a convincing illusion that Susan’s professional level is beyond the ordinary.
The view of a woman written by a man
From another writing technical point of view, Peter Hoeg has chosen to write the book in the first person. As a woman, I find it interesting that a male author chooses to write a story seen from a woman’s perspective. Does it do the trick? I am not convinced, though Peter Hoeg writes about cooking and unconditional love for the children. However, it does not exempt “The effect of Susan” to be a compelling story.
Although the end seems a bit weak, “The effect of Susan” is a neatly plotted story, and together with cool rose wine, I felt well entertained on my terrace. I give the book 4 bookmarks.
What other readers say about Peter Hoeg
By the way, did you know that Peter Hoeg’s “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” is found on Stephen King’s list of books with stories that work listed in his book “On writing”¹?
And the readers say:
You can read more about Peter Høeghs authorship here:
1) King, Stephen: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)