CBR book bingo – Holiday (and another Bingo!) – this book takes place in an airport, as two men talk as they await a delayed flight
Two men who more or less knew each other in college meet in an airport. Their flight is delayed, and one has access to a first class lounge, so they sit together. Our unnamed narrator (a writer) listens to his former acquaintance, Jeff Cook, tell a tale about his life post college. Jeff’s story begins with saving the life of a stranger on a beach – and what follows feels stranger than fiction.
The novel is rather short – something you might be able to read in an afternoon. It’s not really a mystery but it has elements of a Hitchcockian thriller. The stranger on the beach turns out to be a famous, wealthy art dealer, Francic Arsenault. The less you know about the story, the better for reading. The short chapters are easy to consume quickly, propelling the story-within-the-story. I’m not sure the ending qualifies as a “twist” so much as a confirmation. There are questions here about fate, versus a version of free will – but it’s not the most interesting framing of that particular conversation.
I wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re looking for a philosophical story that really ruminates on these questions. This story was strongly focused on men, and not just any men but mostly greedy, power-hungry men, which was not entirely to my taste. Like the narrators, if you find yourself waiting in an airport, you could do worse than to amuse yourself with this tale.