Sunday, June 22, 2014

What Happens at the Farm…

The Farm – Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central Publishing)

Think about the number of classic novels that have had the storyline set in motion by one seemingly simple action. A phone call is all it takes to set Tom Rob Smith’s latest, The Farm in motion; however it was not just any phone call.

An older couple, cash strapped after the financial meltdown takes what remains of their life savings and moves to Sweden, the wife birthplace, to live out their retirement on a simple farm. This idyllic sounding life comes crashing to a halt when the husband calls their son to announce that the wife is under psychiatric care in an asylum.

Smith weaves an intricate tale as the mother tells the son the story of a not so idyllic life as she builds what she believes to be a sturdy case involving murder and mayhem. Smith cuts in an abundance of dialogue to move the story forward and offers detailed descriptions of settings and locales and spices things with a tension involved in all of the relationships in the book.

While the dialogue can prove to be a bit jumpy and the amount of detail is at times overwhelming, Smith does manage to drag you along to the pay off, with all of this device.  While The Farm may not live up to the title of classic, it is another winner for Smith.

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