- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2196 KB
- Print Length: 266 pages
- Publisher: David Lawlor (8 Jan. 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CFNEOCU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #211,774 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£6.94|
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The Golden Grave (A Liam Mannion Story Book 2) Kindle Edition
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I didn’t know what I was getting myself into as a reader. In the beginning, I thought that I was reading a light suspense novel that would enhance my knowledge of “The Great War” while it gently introduced me to some interesting characters. I was wrong!
The novel starts out at the sedate pace that is necessary to introduce the plot, gives us the background of the main characters, and familiarizes us with the setting. Before I knew it, I was on a roller-coaster ride full of loops and hills. I don’t like roller coasters in real life, but I had to find out if the good guys won against all odds.
The characters were believable. They were complex, not stereotypical. The reader has to ask herself questions such as: “Will he really turn out to be the bravest?” and “Will we ever find out the truth about this character?”
David Lawlor does a brilliant job of describing psychosis, anti-social behavior, post-traumatic stress syndrome, ravaged landscape, and other consequences of the battles at the Western Front. He doesn’t spare any details of the sights, smells, and emotions that every frontline soldier faced. For example, the reader can easily envision the rats, the ever-present mud, and the dead bodies.
The ending is as unexpected, and exciting, as any in the genre. There was no way that I could put the book down as I neared the ending. I wanted a resolution to the various conflicts. I wanted justice to be done.
Just a warning: this is not a book for readers of delicate sensibilities as there is plenty of violence and some sexual innuendo.
The love and lust affair between Liam and Sabine offers some sexual tension, but also provides a buffer between the tedious task of unearthing the treasure and the trauma all the former soldiers feel upon returning to the arena of so many deaths—some of which they caused.
If the story verges toward romanticism, Lawlor skillfully and abruptly changes the tone with flashes of jealousy and flashbacks of war. He uses contrasts to create vivid sketches of the setting as he does in this scene when the veterans make it back to the small village in Flanders that became their touchstone during the worst days of the war:
“The road ran like a scar across Flanders’ ruined landscape. Amongst the straggling wild flowers and sparse grass patches, the animals watched beneath a noon-day sun that shone bright and pristine. A black rat paused in its scavenging; its head tilted high, the whiskers twitching expectantly as it listened to the soft shuffle of booted feet.”
Liam Mannion is impacted by the war, yet in him Lawlor has created a sympathetic and very human main character. He loves, yet he’s afraid of rejection so he holds back. He’s loyal, yet his temptations lead him to places that test his loyalty. He doesn’t always win those personal battles, but he manages to find his way back to remind us all it’s never too late to find redemption.
The Golden Grave is more graphic and more violent than Tan. The horror of war and its impact on individuals plays a role in the plot, but perhaps the quest for gold to quench an unquenchable greed drives the conflict and extracts tolls far more costly than war. It also points to human failings of the worst kind.
Lawlor’s talent is evident in the fast-paced and moving story of war, greed, and passion found within the pages of The Golden Grave. I’m not one for war stories in general, but The Golden Grave is so suspenseful and action-packed and filled with historical importance that I enjoyed every minute reading this book.
Note to Mr. Lawlor: I hope there’s a third “Liam Mannion” novel in the works.
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