A book underpinned by scholarship, this crime thriller-cum-psychological thriller-cum-literary novel works on many levels. But how to review it without even hinting at spoilers?
I think it’s safe enough to let potential readers know the ‘author’ of a crime novel is about to commit himself to the method and occasion of the murder at the heart of his thriller when his personal world is overlapped by his created world. Recipe for chaos.
His personal way of life and relationships, already cast into turmoil by the recent unexplained loss of a beloved partner he cannot bear to be without, now involves characters, locations, events and, probably worst of all, his created protagonist D.I.
As time progresses, he has to accept his loss may have created mental instability, maybe even schizophrenia. And, as he comes to realise some of his personal life happenings can be manipulated by his changes to the original plot of the novel, events becomes further confused.
An antique artefact lies at the centre of the fictional murder and becomes an increasing cause of bewilderment for many of the authority figures involved in attempting to solve the crime in what has now become his personal life within the novel.
As the reader turns each page, driven by a combination of empathy with skilfully drawn characters, and the bizarre nature of perfectly credible events, the tensions mount, the questions increase, and the body count rises.
This is a book that will especially appeal to readers who enjoy crime fiction, those who revel in the puzzles devised by the authors of such works, those who find delight in well-written deviations into classical history, and those who love a damned good story.
Read it and enjoy! The brilliant denouement is the only way this extraordinary tour de force could possibly end.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]