Saturday, June 30, 2018

Robert Harris' "Conclave" --- a Review

I liked this book. The ending is completely unexpected.

The book opens with the death of old Pope. Dean of Cardinals, charged with organizing a Conclave to elect new Pope, has been finding out that those members of conclave who are leading candidates for new Pope are having questionable past that practically prevent them to be a Pope.  

So, it is now up to Dean to make decision how to handle the situation. In addition, a new person appears just before a conclave begins who claims he is a new cardinal elevated in cardinal position by late Pope in secret.

What other secrets are out there? It is a good read.

posted by David  

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Judge Dee's first case by Robert van Gulik

This book about Golden Buddha is part of detective stories whose main character is Judge Dee set in 7th century China. It is said Judge Dee's character is based on real historical Chinese statesman and magistrate. 

In this book Judge Dee is investigating murder of another Judge in a port town. 

Even though it is well written novel, I was not very impressed. Judge Dee is open-minded and curious personality but I did not see anything remarkable in his character to make me to want to read other stories.

posted by David


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Review of Paul Sussman's "The Lost Army of Cambyses"

This is another historical detective set in modern day Egypt. When I started reading it I thought it was one of Will Adams' books. It had a very similar opening as in Adams' "The Alexander cipher" I reviewed few weeks back (in reality, it is likely Adams borrowed book "structure" from Sussman as latter's book was published at earlier date). 

Anyone who is into ancient history may know about the army of Persian King Cambyses lost in a desert storm following successful campaign to conquer the ancient Egypt in 6th century BC. 

When a fiction novel is about subject known to be inaccessible in reality one can immediately assume that by the time of its ending it should return to status quo. Indeed, this novel describes a rare, once in a life time archeological discovery of the lost Army and in the end the Army is lost again. 

The novel is a typical mystery detective story but the ending is actually very surprising and quite unexpecting.       

posted by David Usharaul

Friday, March 9, 2018

"Vredens Dag" by Kurt Aust - a historical fiction set in Denmark

Recently I started watching a lot of Scandinavian TV series. Most of them are very good (Borgen, Anno 1790, Dicte, Rita, 1864, Vares). 

Later I came across of a historical crime novel written by Scandinavian author and decided to read it to acquire some light introduction to their history. It is a historical detective set in Denmark at the eve of 1700 A.D.

The story is focused on crime investigation by Danish Professor who is also a royal judge and his assistant. They are traveling to another city but due to a heavy snow storm were forced to stay at some remote guesthouse in the middle of nowhere and there witnessing several gruesome murders. 

It is well written novel. Some of the real historical facts are briefly mentioned. It depicts the period in Western Europe when science is rapidly advancing and widening people's understanding of the world. 

posted by David Usharauli