Mare is a conservative, pious girl living with an ill mother in a small fishing village in the vicinity of Zadar. On a frosty winter morning, her mother sends her to Zagreb with a gift for an elderly cousin who helped her when she needed medical treatment.
Olga is a retired professor of biochemistry, an ex-concentration-camp prisoner and a former partisan fighter. She lives alone in her Zagreb flat, waiting for the arrival of her young cousin.
Vinko is a Zagreb taxi-driver, and in his spare time an antique dealer. He visits lonely elderly ladies, extorting silverware and paintings in order to sell them. However, he isn’t making much money, and is deep in debt, the loan-sharks pursuing him.
These three characters are the heroes of the modern version of Charles Perrault’s and Brothers’ Grimm famous fairy-tale. However, this Crvenkapica is a story of transition capitalism. It is a story of two generations of Croatian women, as well as a story of the all-European relationship between the dominant North and the passive, neglected South.
An extraordinary, adrenalin-charged, ‘dry’ in an Anglo-Saxon way, (i.e. dry as in ‘dry gin’, not dull by any means!), and precisely devised story of crime and punishment – or crime without punishment, or punishment without crime… a powerful and impressive story of disturbing relativity of morals and immorality…
Pavičić made use of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, but what he created is nevertheless more than a modern version of an old folk fairy-tale. Crvenkapica, his fifth novel, has all the makings of a good thriller, representing in addition a convincing social study of the post-war Croatian society.
Pavičić’s Crvenkapica begins with all the characters being innocent and ending up either dead, or as culprits, or simply cursed by the feeling of guilt, which makes it a crime story with a very ambiguous happy ending… Each new publication of Pavičić’s novels is expected and greeted as an event.
Pavičić’s Crvenkapica is a bed-time story, although fairy-tales for adults are not told to lull us to sleep…Nor is his story told to wake anyone up. He simply puts out the light, dispels the illusion, and tells the Croats good night.
A thriller that deals with serious issues of guilt, responsibility and conscience …By all means the most complete and the most serious Pavičić’s work so far…
This novel has something that grabs you, makes you inetrested and curoius...you never know where the author would take you next.... As in every fable you respect, in this novel there is something mysterious, samo great lie that unveils a greater truth.