Book Review: The Other Typist
by Suzanne Rindell
Three books down the line I am still trying to get my head around the ending of ‘The Other Typist’ by Suzanne Rindell
In this very clever study of obsession and manipulation the reader is quickly led to the notion that the book has an ‘unreliable narrator’, an idea soon reinforced by a fairly early reference to ‘the doctor I am seeing now’.
Rose, the product of an orphanage upbringing and the ‘Astoria Stenographers College for Ladies’ spends her days listening to and typing the shocking confessions of criminals in a New York Police precinct.
A young lady of strong opinions and rigid values, prudish and intolerant, Rose is ill equipped to handle her relationships with the men in the precinct, for whom she creates her own mythologies. She appears to be hopelessly out of her depth in the hands of Odalie, against whose influence she tenaciously clings to her own, superior self image.
She is drawn further and further into the world of Odalie, and the underworld of speak-easies and illicit alcohol production, in the Prohibition era of the 1920s, without ever seeming to understand the depths of depravity and cruel disregard for others of which Odalie is capable.
The Other Typist is an intriguing atmospheric tale, totally engaging. After a slightly shaky start, when I was briefly unsure whether I was going to find the book to my taste, I read it within twenty four hours. Somehow Odalie’s hypnotic influence seems to affect even the reader, right up to that doozy of an ending!
Category: Reviews. Tags: Story telling,Books