I Eat Men Like Air
I’m usually not a huge fan of mysteries, especially murder mysteries. It’s always obvious to me “whodunnit” pretty early on and I find that makes the characters involved seem very one-dimensional and not that fun to stick with to the end. Of course, who hasn’t read an Agatha Christie or two, but besides that I’m more of a fantasy or romance type of gal. However, I Eat Men Like Air has irrevocably changed my perspective on the genre.
From the very beginning of the novel, there’s an undeniable undercurrent of tension between every character as they’re introduced. You might think this would make for a tense read, but on the contrary, Berman masterfully weaves threads of unease and suspicion between the cast and plays each scene like a finely tuned instrument all the way through to a thrilling twist and immensely satisfying conclusion.
I finished this novel in two days, not only because the story was wholly engrossing, but also because the depth of character development and care with which each person’s part to play was fully realized was written in such a believable and clever way that I didn’t want to put it down.
The book starts out with the apparent suicide of wealthy East New Yorker Alex Sable the night before his best friend’s wedding. One of the investigating detectives is a popular true crime podcaster, and the opening of the novel follows him as he arrives at the scene and is introduced to the bride and groom and the remainder of their wedding party. The bulk of the story takes place the year preceding Alex’s death, starting with a raucous weekend in a New Hampshire mansion to celebrate the upcoming nuptials.
At first glance, most of the wedding party reads as shallow and vapid one-percenter types with “rich people problems”. Lulu, Maxi, and Jessica (the bride-to-be) are so preoccupied with how their lives look that they’re almost missing the point of being fully realized human beings, and the same can be said of Will (the groom-to-be) and Rob (the poor tag-along trying to fit in where he’s not welcome). But as the weekend continues and the true nature of their personalities and the tangled knots of their interwoven relationships become apparent, it’s obvious that there are some things money and influence can’t repair.
This novel humanizes otherwise inhumane people while at the same time questioning the moral limits of wealth and power, and what lengths both those who are wronged and those who have witnessed wrongdoing will go to for retribution and redemption. I’ll definitely be re-reading this one later this year.
|Page Count||292 pages|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|