You should be prepared to set aside a large portion of your day; namely from the time you start the book till the time you finish it. While I had a few nit-picky moments here and there with Tigers in Red Weather, there is no disputing the fact that it is a gripping read. It’s got a sense of sensuality and eerie chill that oozes through the pages. It’s clear that something is dangerously amiss throughout the story, but Liza Klaussmann has you flipping feverishly through the pages till the very end for a reward.
Tigers in Red Weather is told from 5 different points of view. While I thought it was definitely a very good way to tantalizingly unravel details, I found myself slightly jarred by the fact that the characters have no problem jumping between the past, the present, and the deep past to pull the narration all together. I wish the book had gone in more of a chronological order, but that is more of a personal preference rather than an outright criticism of the writing. The background stories that all wound up into the main crux of the novel were all interesting and very telling in terms of character behaviour, but I felt as though I was being pulled from one situation I had interest in and thrust into another and then all too quickly jumping once again.
The narrators themselves are all fantastically well-built characters. On the surface (and from each other’s points of view), they seem sort of one-dimensional, but the more you get into their heads, the richer and more demented they prove to be. The book spans over almost a decade of time and so it was rewarding to see the characters grow. In some cases, the characters spin wildly out of control to the point of no return while others bury themselves deep in denial.
There is one very impressive point about this book, although once again it’s more of a personal thing. I have a very low tolerance for books/movies/situations that revolve around a cheating spouse or significant other. It just happens to be a topic I don’t like focusing on and I usually try to avoid it. Well, this book does touch on that in a fairly large way and I thought “oh boy, there goes my liking for this book”. I was still interested but that particular sub-plot turned me off. I have to say, Liza Klaussman took it in a direction that is rarely ever explored when cheating comes up in a book or a movie and I was highly satisfied with the result. This never happens to me, so I was really pleased!
All in all, it was a book I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend for a good beach or holiday read–mainly because if you read it on a working day (like I did), you’ll be distracted and frustrated that you can’t be reading it at every moment until it’s over! I still can’t believe this is a debut novel–it’s stunningly portrayed.