Translated from the Portugese by Margaret Jull Costa
The Winner Stands Alone is a thriller set in the Cannes Film Festival. The main character is Igor, a wealthy Russian business man who is trying to win back his wife, after she left him two years ago. Igor has a very twisted view of how to win a woman’s affection, and so decides to kill a series of people in order to attract her attention. The methods of murder were interesting, as they involved a great deal of skill, and some of the observations about how little people at the film festival notice their surroundings were well made, but the majority of the book was disappointing.
The writing was simple, so easy to read, but lacked the depth found in great books. This book is supposed to be a satirical look at the world of celebrity, but I thought the observations were too close to the mark, and therefore not at all funny. I found the characters to be shallow, materialistic, and extremely irritating, so I developed no empathy for any of them. The pace of the book was also quite slow, so it didn’t really work as a thriller.
Overall, I found the plot to be too basic, and the ending disappointing. I’m afraid I can’t recommend this one.