This is my "different" mystery novel.
For one thing, it's a reversal -- the reader knows who the perpetrator
is before the police do. So the book is not so much a whodunit as it is a
howdotheygethim. For another thing, the leading character isn't exactly
The story is about a robot-designer who is not only clumsy in his
personal relationships but physically clumsy as well. In fact, his
carelessness causes the deaths of two of his co-workers. It was pure
accident both times; but instead of owning up to his part in the mishaps,
he ducks his responsibility and claims to know nothing about what
happened -- which declaration starts
the police looking for a murderer. The second half of the book is a
cat-and-mouse game as Marian Larch and her partner Ivan Malecki come
closer and closer to the truth.
Some readers felt uneasy with this book, and there was talk in my
topic on Genie about why that should be.
The consensus was that that a number of readers
want to have one and only one way to respond to a character (like him
or don't like him), and this is not possible with my robot designer.
There's no malice in him -- he doesn't want to harm anyone. His
intentions are good and even honorable. But you can't really like
a character so self-absorbed
that he causes two people to die through sheer inattentiveness.
This ambivalent response is exactly what I was aiming for when I wrote
So, if you feel you need to identify with the leading character in order
pleasure from a story...well, you have your work cut out for you.
But if you're willing to let a little aesthetic distance develop, you
ought to get a kick out of Sauerkraut (there's some very dark humor
in the book). Stand back from the story, distance yourself; that's the
way it was written to be read.