Book review – The Baltimore Boys

We all enjoyed ‘The Baltimore Boys’ by Joel Dicker. It was originally written in French, but it still feels very rooted in its setting. It tells the tale of 3 boys – cousins Marcus and Hillel and Hillel’s adopted brother Woody – all told from the perspective of Marcus, now a writer. It as easy read, well written but not for those who like a fast paced plot.

The time line of the story kept jumping backwards and forwards but despite that we found the story flowed logically and although the supposed hook is the ‘tragedy’, the book is much more about family relationships and rivalries across the generations. As another reviewer wrote it ‘unfolded gradually to reveal the layers of complicated relationships beneath the façade’. Marcus spends as much time as he can with his cousins who live in Baltimore, – he wants to be a ‘Baltimore Goldman’ and wishes his parents were more like Uncle Saul and Aunt Anita. He is jealous of the close relationship between Hillel and Woody – and the entrance of Alexandra into their lives compounds this. We read about the relationship between his father, grandfather and his apparently much more successful Uncle Saul – but much is misconception based on the viewpoint of a young boy.