31 Aug 2016

AN AEGEAN PROPHECY (CHIEF INSPECTOR ANDREAS KALDIS MYSTERY #3).

An AEGEAN PROPHECY (NB: Also published as Murder on Mykonos) by JEFFREY SIGER.

BACK COVER BLURB: St John wrote the apocalyptic Book of Revelation over 1900 years ago in a cave on Greece's eastern Aegean island of Patmos. When a revered monk from that holy island's thousand-year-old monastery is murdered in Patmos's town square during Easter Week, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis is called upon to find the killer.

Andreas's impolitic search for answers brings him face-to-face with a scandal haunting the world's oldest surviving monastic community. On the pristine Aegean peninsula of Mount Athos, isolated from the rest of humanity, twenty monasteries sit protecting the secrets of Byzantium amid a way of life virtually unchanged for more than 1500 years. But today this sacred refuge harbours modern international intrigues that threaten to destroy the very heart of the Church . . . in a matter of days.

FIRST SENTENCE {1}: There was an unusual cadence to the man's walk.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 11/12}: 'Any thoughts on why the crosses were left behind?

The sergeant shrugged, 'No. The captain thinks its because he was a man of God and the muggers thought it a sacrilege to take them.'

Andreas stared deadpan at the sergeant. Kouros started to laugh. 'Can't wait to meet your captain' said Andreas. 'A monk is butchered in your town square and he thinks the muggers were worried about committing a sacrilege by stealing his crosses?'

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

MY THOUGHTS: Nothing special but essentially an OK read. The third instalment in a series of which I haven't read any of the other books. As a standalone novel it worked well however I can't help but feel I'd missed out on getting to know Inspector Andreas Kaldis who I was led to believe (mistakenly as it turns out) was the Greek equivalent of Donna Leon's Italian Commissario Brunetti.

As a character character I didn't particularly take to Kaldis. Not that this should really matter (do we really need to like the characters to enjoy a book?) but, for me personally, I at least like my characters to instil something in me (and I'm not certain Kaldis did) and especially if I'm going to invest my time in what could be a long running series.

 Anyway,

Great cover, it took me right back to our visit to Patmos, to all those typically Greek churches we had ever visited - its just a shame the rest of the book didn't. Perhaps, my fault admittedly I'd got so caught up in comparisons between these books and Donna Leon's (where I was transported to Venice) that I was disappointed not to find myself on a Greek Island, that mention of St John's apocalyptic Book of Revelation would be used well instead of which I found myself caught up in a plot involving the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches which in more (capable?) hands might have been interesting but here proved, well, not quite so interesting.

Altogether not a style of writing I enjoyed. Mr Siger and I got off on a 'bad note' on page one with his use of italics. Please use if really necessary, if perhaps its a word that warrants an explanation in a footnote etc, but please don't use just to draw our attention that here is a word we may (or may not) know.


12 comments:

Kelly said...

A shame you had yet another disappointment, Tracy. The cover is nice and I have fond memories to Patmos myself, but based on everything you said, I'll pass on this series. If I'm going to take on another series in the vein of Donna Leon's books, I'll continue with the Louise Penny books of which I read the first for book club. A totally different type setting, but I found Inspector Gamache as likable as Brunnetti.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I usually don't mind italics, but used in that way, it would bother me. Aw sorry this one didn't work out for you and I don't think this one would be for me either. Too bad. Hope the next book is what you need! :)

Suko said...

Thank you for your honest review, Tracy! My sister and I laughed about the overuse of italics in a certain magazine (which shall remain unnamed) many years ago.

Natasha Hill said...

Love the memorable moment you added in, I'm already intrigued and while this didn't turn out as expected for you, as you mentioned it was OK if I see it I'll pick it up and flick through. I do love the cover though! - Tasha

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

From reading your usual astute observations, I was really surprised to see the volume of good ratings and reviews this book has enjoyed so far.

I would have added this one to my own list, if it hadn't been for the fact that we are already up to book 8 in the series and I would quite like to have gone right back to the beginning, to 'meet' Inspector Kaldis for myself.

It wouldn't do if we all enjoyed exactly the same books, would it? Then there would be no room for debate and discussion, which is what these posts we share, are all about.

It sounds as though this was a nice, easy to read, time filler, so it's about time you managed to find a good lengthy storyline to become engrossed in.

Happy choosing and reading :)

Yvonne

Brian Joseph said...

It is too bad that this was disappointing. Plots that revolve around ancient Christianity are very popular these days but can be very interesting. I think that there is plenty for authors left to do with this sub - genre.

I agree that one does not need to like the characters in a book in order to like the book.

Melliane said...

Ah sorry but I can understand, complicated there

Literary Feline said...

Italics tend to bother me if overused. One of my writing pet peeves. It's too bad this one disappointed you. I am not sure this one is for me too.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

Mmmh, doesn't sound like my kind of read so I'll pass. Interesting to hear your thoughts on italics, Tracy. My favourite writer, Joyce Carol Oates, can be quite liberal when it comes to using italics. But she uses it to convey characters' thoughts and not to highlight words she thinks we might not know.

Gina R said...

Decidedly not my sort of read but I can definitely understand that feeling of "missing something" that comes with diving into a series partway through. Some work either way, others fall a little short. Thanks for the share!

The Bookworm said...

The use of italics that way would annoy me too. I don't mind series books if they are standalones, but I always feel like something is missing if I don't read them in order. You get a better sense of the characters with reading the other books first.

Charlie said...

Grr on the italics. That's a very different telling rather than showing and irritating!

Better that you felt you were missing information by reading this third book - when you read a series book but can't tell you're missing something until you read the reviews and find out you missed context because of it...