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Clonmac's Bridge: an archeological mystery Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel explores a variety of relationships between several of the main characters and in addition there are corporate jealousies, academic rivalries and political ambitions.
On the whole the main characters are a set of selfish, self-centred people who are motivated by pride, greed, lust and self-interest. Even the two main protagonists, Griffin Clonmac and Mari Quispe, the romantic leads, struggle at times to put their feelings for each other before their desires to be in control.
The historical part of the novel could almost stand-alone but it provides a satisfying explanation for the mysteries of The Bridge which is held back until the end of the novel thus creating a strong finale for the book.
I enjoyed reading Clonmac's Bridge and once again admired author Jeffrey Perren's ability to get the reader to suspend disbelief and travel with him across continents and back through centuries in pursuit of a good yarn.
The passion of archaeology and the excitement of finds jumps out at the reader from the first page. The Author tells us that the novel was inspired by a real archaeological discovery and he adeptly puts across the feelings such an experience would create. Similarly he gives us an understanding of budgets and how difficult funding has become for such projects. Then we have the mystery of why is there is so much deliberate opposition in Griffin’s way? And who is behind this?
Part of the plot to thwart Griffin is the insistence he employs Mari Quispe, who has her own demons to deal with following a disaster on one of her digs near her home in Peru. This backfires when Griffin and Mari fall in love and become a formidable force together.
The characterisation is strong and colourful from all walks of life. I loved the author’s use of language which seemed to simply fit in with the characters and archaeology. There were times that I felt Griffin’s character lacked the inquisitiveness such an intelligent man would have or there were parts that needed further development ( such as the parts involving Conor) and which would have given more suspense.
Interwoven in is the story or Riordan who designed and created the bridge some thousand years earlier. The past and present link in to one another easily and we see that Griffin and Riordan face similar unnecessary callousness and envy despite the differences in time.
If you like history and mystery to fire your imagination you will enjoy this.
This is a wonderful story of a 9th century monk fulfilling his childhood dream and the modern day excavation of the bridge he built. Overseen by the watchful eye of Griffin Clonmac, an archaeologist from America with a passion for his science and a need to solve the mystery of ‘why?’.
Griffin faces all the usual problems of the modern day archaeologist; funding, opposition, jealous colleagues and, in Griffin’s case, the wrath of the Catholic Church. With every step being thwarted before he has even started excavating he is coerced by his colleagues to take on Mari Quispe, a Peruvian archaeologist, as his assistant. She is meant to make his life even more difficult after reports of her bad reputation proceeding her…and the small matter of an accident involving a dig she was in charge of which proved fatal to her own assistant. Instead she becomes his greatest asset and eventually they fall in love. Together they determinedly fight to get the project off the ground, forging ahead despite interference from Mari’s powerful Peruvian father but who are really their allies?
This book really is an excellent and engrossing historical tale. Seamlessly told through the eyes of those in the 9th century and modern day, it was a real pleasure to read. The style of writing really grabbed me from the first few pages to the end. This is a long novel but my personal view is that not a word is wasted. Really, really good.
First we meet an archaeology professor called Griffin Clonmac who's spent five years researching a Dark Ages bridge over the Shannon. So I expected that he was in Ireland. No, because he complains about the cost of travelling to Ireland, though we later see him crossing the Atlantic a couple of times a week. He considers getting funding from the British Broadcasting Corporation, so I thought he must be in Britain. Many pages in this man finally introduces himself to someone as being from the University of Virginia. Now how were we supposed to know that? And why didn't he approach the Irish broadcasters RTE, TV3, TG4 for funding? Why not send out a general press release, or co-operate with an Irish university to share funding and expertise? Archaeology students often have to work for free to get the experience.
The story takes a long time to get moving with academic rivalry, permits, officials, funds, Church seniors, a plain weird journalist and unexplained hindrances. We follow a trail around many universities and archives, rather than excavating; the action is continually stuck in arguments and personality clashes.
A couple of trial dives in the Shannon provide some action, tension and potential for murderous sabotage. Unfortunately then we're off to some more offices. I can't believe that a body was undiscovered and unsearched for in the Shannon; there are search dogs trained to find the scent of a body underwater and the Gardai have a sub-aqua team, plus local divers would come out and help. Yet the site is entirely quiet a week later when Clonmac returns.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Meet Griffin Clonmac and Mari Quispe, two of the main characters in this book. Griffin is a professor at the University of Virginia. Read morePublished on 27 April 2015 by Richard and Liz
‘Clonmac’s Bridge’ is Jeffrey Perren’s best novel to date. (I had intended to take it to read on holiday but, after sampling the first few pages, just kept on reading. Read morePublished on 17 Sept. 2014 by D. Eadsforth
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