11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: The Jewels of Paradise (Hardcover)
I felt slightly 'betrayed' by this novel in that it did not live up to expectations. Having read the blurb I thought it had a fanastic potential for mystery, intrigue and scholarly skulduggery. As it turned out I have to admit to becoming just a trifle bored. I respect Donna Leon, adore Venice, am familiar with the mechanics of literaryy/historical research and have a particular penchant for Baroque music. "Just up my street," I thought. It wasn't. Patiently and indulgently I waited for an excitement, a frisson - something one could really get one's teeth into. Alas, nothing emerged: the stalker proved a limp red herring, the possible love interst - the suave lawyer - melted vaguely into obscure shadows, the villains were ill-defined, and the subject of Caterina's painstaking research proved ultimately of little tangible interest. Much of Caterina's scholarly labours were punctuated by not very inspiring meals; and each time she went out to a bistro or bar one assumed that "something" would happen when she returned to her academic pursuits. Nothing did - either intellectually or physically. It is always a pleasure to read about Venice, especially by one as knowledgeable as Donna Leon - hence the three stars. However, on the whole I have to say: tremendous possibilities but a bit of a damp squib . . . There are other of this author's books both more gripping and,indeed, more subtle and edgy.
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Initial post: 8 Jan 2014 15:54:34 GMT
Keith Lee says:
Agree entirely- I was left totally flat when I got to the end of a book that, I must admit, I had "waded" through-waiting for an amazing denouement that just did not happen. I feel that poor Caterina must have felt the same- "why did I bother". I thought we were actually going to find out what had really happened to the randy Swedish aristocrat- what, if anything, Steffani had to do with it. Sadly nothing but a damp squib ending.
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