on 28 August 2015
I was given a copy of this book to read by the author.
I have read neither The Istanbul Puzzle nor The Jerusalem Puzzle and, although I felt The Manhattan Puzzle could be read as a stand-alone novel, my view is that it would be preferable to read parts 1 & 2 of the series first. This is because there are a number of characters and complicated plot threads from those books that follow through to this final book – an observation rather than a criticism. It was clear by the end of this book that the author was tying up loose ends from those first two books. My recommendation therefore, would be to read them first.
Having said that, if you’re writing a series then it’s always a balance giving enough background information to enable the reader to fathom out what’s going on against holding back details which would reveal too much about the plots of the previous books and spoil the reading experience.
The plot is quite convoluted but then it is a conspiracy thriller so twists and turns are to be expected. It took me a few chapters to get into the book as the author darts about a great deal between plot lines and some of the chapters are extremely short so there are occasions when I found myself starting to follow the thread and then the author cut it so it felt rather disjointed at times. But as I progressed further into the book and into the story that became less of an issue and I found myself wanting to read on. The pace really picks up once Isabel hits Manhattan and is actually relentless making it a fast read from thereon.
The book is visceral in part, and some of the scenes are graphic, so not for the faint-hearted.
I do like the author’s writing style and effective use of dialogue and will definitely read the first two parts of this series.
on 29 June 2014
Firstly I would like to say I love the cover on this book, it's perfect for the plot and I love Manhatten too so a great reminder.
When I started reading this I had no idea it was the third book in a series with the Jerusalem and Istanbul Puzzle having come before. However the book can stand on it's own very well, although now I will go back and read the other two and in the correct order as I believe many of the characters in this book appear in those earlier books.
I didn't know what to expect but have to say the book was a very pleasant surprise. It's a very fast paced, high energy, gripping and at times gruesome thriller.
There is a global conspiracy with the focus being the BXH Bank in Manhatten. All the action is located there. Isabel is the main character and the heroine of the novel as she pulls out all the stops to find her missing husband Sean who is being accused/framed for a murder she is convinced he didn't commit. On top of that she is anxious about the safety of her son Alek who she leaves in London with someone she can trust while she searches for her husband in Manhatten. As the story progresses her actions and the people she meets leads to her own life being in danger aswell as her family. She doesn't know what to believe, who to trust and how to get to the bottom of the mystery which is highly complex and involving China, a historical symbol and gruesome rituals involving murder and a plot to bring down or take over BXH Bank as a means to an end.
The book isn't for the faint-hearted but it is thrilling with lots of twists and turns which you have to keep track of and i did find it difficult to put this book down, its great! I can see the ending does leave it open for another sequel which I also look forward to.
on 11 October 2013
Third novel in the series.
Sean is missing in London and suspected of a murder. Isabel is near frantic in her effort to find out where he is. Unknown to her, her son is not safe with her friend, Rose, as the action moves to New York City.
The NYPD, SEC, FBI are all gunning for Sean as a dangerous criminal, while Isabel, with a little help, manages to keep one step ahead of the villains, still convinced of Sean's innocence. Once again the story comes to a head deep underground and the future seems very bleak for Sean, Isabel and their son, Alek. Captivating!
on 3 November 2013
I read the two novels in this series during the summer and thoroughly enjoyed them. Loved the locations for their historical and travel interest and was counting down the days until the 3rd in the series was published. I wasn't disappointed.
I bought the book on a Friday and finished it the following Monday. I just couldn't put it down , and when I had to, couldn't wait to pick it up where I left off.
Can't understand the few negative reviews posted here. I think the plot is quite believable considering what is going on in world politics. Anything is possible. There are always king makers behind the kings and whether they are good or evil only time will tell.
Loved this book, and can't wait for more from this author. Best thriller series I've read in a long time. Dan Brown eat your heart out!!
on 25 October 2013
There was a clear continuity with the previous books in the series but this one was also ok to read as a stand-alone. What surprised me was not to find Sean in a prominent role within the plot but I will say no more of this in case I spoil the story for others.
Once I got past the stage of asking myself "When is Sean going to appear?" I easily got into the plot and enjoyed it.
It was interesting to be urged by the story to ask what might literally and metaphorically lie under the façade of modern commercial enterprises and to consider, if only within the confines and assumptions of the story, the possibilities that might really be going on when business news of takeovers etc his hitting the headlines.
A good story and an enjoyable read.
on 19 November 2013
I've championed Irish author, Laurence o'Bryan's thriller series from the start. I have a soft spot for historical thrillers, and I've found O'Bryan's writing to be fast paced and incredibly easy to engage with. I thoroughly enjoyed the second book in the series, The Jerusalem Puzzle, and it left me craving more. I had this last book in the trilogy pre-ordered as soon as it became available, and I zipped through the book much quicker than I expected.
Readers may be aware of the continuous theme of the discovered manuscript/puzzle in this series, which has caused Sean Ryan and his now wife, Isabel Sharp some grueling experiences along the way. From being attacked by eels, to discovering burnt bodies, kidnapped, locked inside caves in the middle of nowhere ... Let's just say, Sean and Isabel haven't had the most easiest of relationships. And The Manhattan Puzzle isn't about to let up on the duo anytime soon!
When Sean doesn't return home from working at a bank, Isabel starts to worry. They have a nice romantic weekend planned in Paris to look forward to. But Isabel has a niggling in the back of her mind that something is amiss. As she starts to search for him, Isabel finds herself being dragged to Manhattan on his trail, but when she discovers that their son, Alek has been kidnapped, things really start to heat up. Plus, Sean has been accused of murder too. Isabel knows that the bank is trying to hide something, something serious. What she isn't aware of, is how that blasted symbol she and Sean unearthed in Istanbul will come back to haunt her, testing her courage as well as her love for her husband.
You know what? Good on Laurence O'Bryan. I bet it took some guts to completely turn the series on its head and write it from Isabel's perspective. I think it works perfectly, and actually I found her character had much more genuine emotion. I connected so much more with Isabel, which is exactly what's needed here. You need to feel her frustration at not being able to find her husband. You urge her on to not give up, to get to the bottom of it all. God only knows what I would have done in her situation. Isabel's chain of thinking, her paranoia and her blind faith are all respectable as well as very readable.
Of course, you are also reintroduced to some of the side characters as well here. Xena, Lord Bidoner as well as Henry the MI5 style man get plenty of focus. I think this is what really makes these thrillers stand out - especially when compared to the likes of Dan Brown and Raymond Khoury, whose books each tell a different story, with different characters. The long running storyline of the puzzle, as well as discovering the true nature of both Xena and Lord Bidoner is very pleasing. I actually really liked Xena's character. She was clever and intriguing, and bound to be hiding so much more in that quiet exterior.
The Manhattan Puzzle isn't void of action either. I mean within the first few pages someone is brutally castrated, and a stripper found murdered. As to be expected with thrillers like this with religious aspects, sacrifice and ritual killing isn't original, but it is exciting and it captures your attention. How could it not? And to be honest, with the murders, as well as the chase scenes, I found everything rather realistic and authentic, which is also a major plus. I'll also reveal the word 'rats' to you too and let you look out for that part yourselves.
To be honest, I actually found The Manhattan Puzzle to be the best book in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can hardly fault it - it had be hooked! If I were to find a downside, I would have to say the actual solving of the 'puzzle' was a bit rushed. I only wish that bit was a bit better explained and more explored. I mean this puzzle has baffled the antagonists for ages, and runs through three books, just to be solved in what two paragraphs near the end?
With constant updates and referencing, The Manhattan Puzzle can be read without the need to read the previous two books, but I strongly suggest against that. You need to be familiar with the characters' backgrounds as well as the motives of Lord Bidoner, and I think having read the previous two book in the Puzzle series only heightened my enjoyment of this. It's so easy to get in to, and Isabel is the true star in here. Her anger at Sean for not coming home is least of her concerns when it all kicks off, and believe me when I say that you won't look back.