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3.9 out of 5 stars7
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 10 November 2012
I found this a moving and insightful book.

The story opens with the death by his own hand of Julian Wells, a writer, who explored through his writing the crimes of man against his fellow man in the twentieth century. Asked by Julian's sister to give a eulogy at Julian's funeral, Philip Anders, literary critic and Julian's best friend, looks back over his friend's life, and in doing so becomes convinced that his friend had a secret, and that maybe it was because he was haunted by a crime he had committed that he ended his life.

And so Philip Anders sets out on a journey to revisit the places that Julian visited to attempt to uncover the mystery. It is a journey that spans several decades and takes him to Paris, South America and Spain. He has few clues, as in all good mysteries, he picks up clues along the way. As he becomes immersed in his investigations he relives conversations with Julian and wonders if he knew him at all. He is also plagued by the belief that had he been a better friend he could have prevented Julian's death.

This is the story of an intelligent, clever and complex man, whose introspection and desire for experience, knowledge and understanding takes him to dark places. And equally, as we learn through Philip about Julian, Philip is revealed.

As the story progresses, the reader is directed to certain conclusions, but the ending is unexpected and has horrific implications. It will give pause for reflection long after the last page has been turned. Highly recommended
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Lizzie Hayes
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on 15 January 2013
It took a long time to get into this book, the intrigue is there near the end fair enough but there is hardly any personalilty to connect to from the main character and the story is muddled in so many policial issues all over the world u lose track. Its an interesting story line and i'd like to find out what happens in the end but it says alot about a book if u can put it down and walk away from it for a period of time.
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To be honest with you, I found this book quite hard going, as its something that requires the readers attention throughout and whilst it is beautifully written, I did find that with some of the repetitive descriptions in regard to the principle character I lost my chain of thought and missed some of the key parts due to my distraction.

Don't get me wrong it has a wonderful sense of pace, some cracking turns of phrase but when I get distracted when I'm trying to read that really doesn't bode well for the book staying with me or for me to get the pay off. All in a reasonable book and one I will try to reread in the future to see if it was just a case of being in the wrong frame of mind upon the original reading. I can wait but see.
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on 11 August 2013
Thomas H Cook is one of those writers whose works seem to be underrated. Others have suggested that one reason for this is that it's quite difficult to categorise his books. This is no exception - despite the title it's no standard crime novel, nor is it a thriller, nor is it really a psychological suspense novel (although I wouldn't argue too much with those who thought it was). What it is though is literary fiction beautifully written and constructed with a thought-provoking conclusion.

I do have sympathy with another reviewer who suggests that it perhaps requires more reader's attention than casual readers (including me sometimes) want to or can pay, especially if you can't read it over a relatively short time. I also found that I didn't find it especially easy to engage with the main character of the narrator (Philip, who narrates the story in the first person).

Nevertheless, this is almost nitpicking which merely prevents me from giving it five stars: I found it an enjoyable and rewarding read.
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on 28 January 2013
I, like a lot of others, (judging by the reviews),had never heard of Thomas H Cook. He really hasn't been publicised sufficiently. He writes so well and I became totally drawn in to this story as it developed, I even started to think it was non fiction! It's not a crime story or a thriller as some reviewers seemed to be expecting, but it kept me turning the pages and was thought provoking and memorable. So I'm grateful to Kindle daily deals for introducing me to a writer that I shall be reading more of and to a book I thoroughly enjoyed.
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on 29 August 2013
Well worth reading as you would expect from the pen of Thomas H Cook , definitely recommend it even though a little different from other works
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on 5 February 2014
A good book to start one on a little, gentle philosophical wandering. Very easy to read. An enjoyable afternoon book.
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