Take Another Look

{May 4, 2010}   violate

She clambered up past the ventilation system and sat where students weren’t allowed. She sat leaning against a post, with her knees in front of her, defying anybody to come too close.  Maybe she was counting numbers, or trees, or naming famous baseball players. Maybe she was making up music, playing symphonies in her head, or thinking of nothing at all. She could have been concealing all the secrets in the world, but even the nastiest interrogator would take one look and decide not to pry her open, lest she spill into a different form. There was something intoxicatingly clumsy about her stance, reckless and unspoiled, as if she didn’t know how to be looked at. As if poise was a luxury she didn’t spend money on because she knew it would be wasted. Not that she lacked sophistication, but that she wasn’t in the business of charming people who didn’t belong near her. He would never appreciate that about her. It would continue to grate at him, as if she was somebody to be trained. It never occurred to him that he was the one who’d so desperately needed training, who had wandered near her, and begged to be let in, only to violate her circle so openly and so causelessly.

{April 29, 2010}   undercover

“Sam’s shoulders shifted. He thought Frank was just being smart-arsed. but Sam’s never done undercover, he had no way of knowing: undercovers are different: there’s nothing they won’t do, to themselves or anyone else, to take their guy down.There was no point arguing on this one because he meant what he said: if his kid were killed, he would take it without a murmur. It’s one of the most powerful lures of undercover, the ruthlessness, no borderlines: strong stuff, strong enough to take your breath away.It’s one of the reasons I left.”-Tana French
This is from the book The Likeness (p 27) which is more complex than this passage, and also less concrete in some ways although the book is about an ongoing criminal investigation.

I don’t agree with all or most of it but the the part I liked most was about the lure being the ruthlessness, and no borderlines. but I think the mistake in this passage is the black and white mindset: thinking people go undercover because they have such an “unambiguous” mindset- some people find their own borderlines there, and that is what they like about it.. they can finally draw the “correct” moral conclusion” instead of feeling like the law took it away from them or life robbed it from them, someone higher up on the social hierarchy picked it up, etc.

et cetera