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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action, adventure and intrigue abound (2), 10 April 2012
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This review is from: The Mozart Conspiracy (Kindle Edition)
The Mozart Conspiracy as the second in the Ben Hope series is bound to have many echoes of its elder sibling The Alchemist's Secret. It follows a similar premise and has many familiar touches. However, similarities are what you want in a series based on the same central character. You want to return to the life of the same person you read about in the last instalment. There would be little point in a series otherwise. Mariani picks up with Ben Hope as we got to know him before and it brings a smile to your face as it does with the idiosyncrasies of an old friend.

The Mozart Conspiracy is another well researched and plausible novel. It has some slightly more ludicrous stunts than The Alchemist's Secret, some feats that, though we'd like to believe someone like Hope could pull off, we know rely somewhat on suspension of disbelief. Hopes grit and determination, training and skill, are perhaps some mystical force that we will learn of in the next instalment.

That's not to say they detract from the story at all, spoil the plot, or indeed alienate the reader. They are perhaps a little overkill, a little unnecessary, but they are in keeping with Hope's character and situation. It's a mark of a well written hero that you can forgive him these things.

The villains of the piece are more sinister and more bloodthirsty. There is more violence and deeper intrigue. For fans of this type of novel, it's exactly what you want in a second appearance of a hero. He got out of so much trouble last time it has to be worse this time, or we'd lose faith in him. In this episode, the scheming is far reaching and is bound to put a smile on the face of any conspiracy theorist.

Strong women back up the predominantly masculine cast of characters once again, and once again only bring complication to the scrapes Hope gets into. Because he's a good guy though, he deals with it. Romantic interest is not overdone although plays a more significant part in this episode.

Echoes of James Bond come through here and there, but of the character and not the preposterous inventions of a government weapons lab. Since most of us drawn to this sort of novel probably grew up on Bond though, this is a welcome means to identify with Hope.

Once again a page-turner from Mariani and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Who can tell what dangers loom.
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