The female writers, for whatever reason (men?), don’t much believe in heroes, which makes their kind of storytelling perhaps a better fit for these cynical times. Their books are light on gunplay, heavy on emotional violence. Murder is de rigueur in the genre, so people die at the hands of others—lovers, neighbors, obsessive strangers—but the body counts tend to be on the low side. “I write about murder,” Tana French once said, “because it’s one of the great mysteries of the human heart: How can one human being deliberately take another one’s life away?” Sometimes, in the work of French and others, the lethal blow comes so quietly that it seems almost inadvertent, a thing that in the course of daily life just happens. Death, in these women’s books, is often chillingly casual, and unnervingly intimate. As a character in Alex Marwood’s brilliant new novel, The Darkest Secret, muses: “They’re not always creeping around with knives in dark alleyways. Most of them kill you from the inside out.”
Okay but imagine Gaston going into the village after a hunt, prowling for a good half hour just for the perfect bouquet to attempt to gain at least your attention as he had been trying since you came to live in the village. Then, when he’s found the perfect flowers that made him think of you instantly, he sees you making your way towards the bakery from afar and his heart picks up its pace, beats rapidly and his toned legs wobble slightly as no other person has ever made him feel quite like you have just by walking along the market.
(even if he is going to have to work much harder to gain your interest (; )