maandag 31 augustus 2009

Werken aan de spanningsboog

Karlijn Stoffels - De ontvoerde prins

De derde in de reeks van De bende van de zwarte hond, een serie die wat wegheeft van het legendarische De Vijf van Enid Blyton. En het toeval wil, of zou het geregisseerd toeval zijn dat van De Vijf ook Cursiefeen deeltje met exact dezelfde titel is verschenen?

Stoffels heeft zichzelf na Mosje en Reizele uit 1997 nooit meer geevenaard maar is daarna wel gestaag aan een, inmiddels gevarieerd, oeuvre gaan bouwen. Dit is alweer haar negende roman en zelfs de tweede die dit jaar verschijnt, na Tegen de muur op. Het is Stoffels verdienste dat ze op een vanzelfsprekende manier de multiculturele samenleving beschrijft in haar romans.

Over deel 2 van deze Stoffels-serie was ik wellicht iets te kritisch. Ik was licht ontgoocheld over het feit dat een begaafde auteur als Stoffels zich op het pad van het vrij simpele spannende kinderboek begaf. Ik vermoedde commerciele motieven. Stoffels reageerde daarop en vertelde dat ze zich graag wil ontwikkelen als schrijver en benieuwd was of het haar lukte om boeken met een letterlijke spanningsboog te schrijven. Daardoor werd ik milder gestemd en heb ik dit boek met een andere aanvangsbelangstelling gelezen.

In De ontvoerde prins beleeft het groepje vrienden uit het internaat (voor kinderen van wie de ouderen in het buitenland zijn en doorgaans uit de betere kringen afkomstig) opnieuw een spannend avontuur dat het zelf oplost. Al rap wordt Moerad ontvoerd maar de kidnappers hebben de verkeerde kleurling te pakken; ze denken met de zoon van een sjeik te maken te hebben. De cateraar van het internaat blijkt een dubieuze rol te spelen al blijkt hij daar weer zo zijn eigen motieven voor te hebben. Het mysterie wordt opgelost in dit lekkere leesboek dat onderhoudend is maar niet echt heel spannend wil worden. Daarvoor is het te schematisch en voorspelbaar van opzet. De sfeertekeningen en karakters zijn aardig en vooral de onderlinge verhoudingen in de vriendengroep en in het internaat zijn goed uitgewerkt maar je zit niet op het puntje van je stoel omdat je wilt weten hoe het afloopt. Stoffels heeft dus nog wel iets te leren op het gebied van de spanningsboog.

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