3.5 stars - A bit confusing but with excellent suspense and a great twist,
This review is from: The Snake Stone (Yashim the Ottoman Detective) (Hardcover)
First Sentence: The voice was low and rough and it came from behind as dusk fell.
I love Goodwin's strong sense of place. His descriptions draw mental pictures and engage you senses. The book is a fascinating look at Istanbul of this period and a culture so different from our own, but you also see our culture viewed through their eyes. We are also seeing it at a time of significant transition from being and primarily Muslim city, to one more influenced by Western Culture. Yet his descriptions are not only of this past, but a past beyond the story.
The literary references were wonderful; I even learned things about Byron I hadn't known. The sub-story of the Sultan, who is dying, and the Sultan's mother, was fascinating. Yashim is a wonderful character; intelligent and multifaceted. He's also a man who doesn't really fit anywhere, yet from that, allows him to go places others cannot. I'm always delighted by Stanislaw Palewski, the ambassador without a country and by the flashes of quite delightful, yet subtle humor, Goodwin injects into his dialogue.
I did find the story a bit confusing, at times, yet there was some excellent suspense and a great twist at the end.
THE SNAKE STONE (Hist/Mystery-Yashim-Instanbul-1830s) - G+
Sarah Chrichton Books, 2007