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on 9 February 2015
Dreadful beyond words!! The story (if there is one!) jumps from one ridiculous situation to another without pausing for breath. Far from making this a fast paced read it just becomes utterly confusing. By the beginning of Chapter 3 the main protagonist has already left London, arrived in Edinburgh, trekked another 50 miles to the Castle, wandered up a hill, found a dagger and a dead body (Which miraculously disappears) and so on and so on!!
Liberally littered with dreadful similes and metaphors that any decent proof reader would have taken out, it;s difiicult to find any plot.
The writing is appalling. * Gaunt as a figure of famine"," like the nearly human sound of the wind", Like an illfitting shadow", "I whirled to the window"!!!!! And all that and more in 1 chapter.
The Shakespeare Curse , with Macbeth, the occult, secret codes, bit of love interest might have been a recipe for success but unfortunately in the hands of J L Carrell, it's a confusing, badly written farce.
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on 1 September 2011
Kate Stanley and Ben Pearl return in the sequel to the Shakespeare Secret to follow a new trail that leads to another discovery about Shakespeare's life. They meet when Kate is invited to Scotland after being offered the chance to direct the play Macbeth.

In Scotland the pair discover the body of a women and a mysterious knife that is the first clue which can lead them to the truth about the curse of Macbeth. They must solve a series of clues in the UK and USA and avoid a killer who is determined to make the discovery before they do.

It is another fast paced adventure that finds Kate and Ben solving puzzles while being chased by a murderer. The story is cleverly written using known facts about Shakespeare and Macbeth to explain why the famous play is cursed.

The book is quite similar to the first where again we find Ben and Kate searching for another lost fact about Shakespeare's work. However, the hidden secret in this book is more farfetched than the first and involves witchcraft which may not appeal to some readers.

For fans of the first book this is another great read and definitely worth buying. If you are not interested in Shakespeare or witchcraft you may not enjoy it as much as me.
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on 17 June 2010
I agree with the reviewer who called this bilge. Obvious from page 1 that the author is American, altogether too into random wiccan-Celtic-airy-faery myth making and desirous of seeing herself in the (weak, undeveloped, mildy irritating) lead role. Lots of wittering about lost manuscripts, sources and wishful thinking about non-existent links to the more well-known Tudor players. By the time I got irritated enough to give it up as a bad job, about halfway through, there was still little plot, no character development and a lot of meaningless mumbo jumbo. It was a bit like the da vinci code, mainly in that I thought that was pretty terrible too. Read Tom Harper instead.
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on 11 May 2010
First of all I do not agree with the other reviewers that consider this book similar to the "Da Vinci Code" although there is a convoluted plot the style of writing and plot framework is entirely different. Although set in the present the style of writing is more 1930s and although the plot is explored at great length (almost 500 pages) it is slow paced.
Without some knowledge of the plot of Macbeth and the associated superstitions surrounding the play this book is not an easy read. My main criticism is that there is little character development and although the plot has great potential without being able to relate to the characters I found it a dull read.
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on 1 September 2010
Just thought I ought to warn people thinking of reading this because it looks interesting (like I did) that they should do whatever they can to avoid getting anywhere near it.

It is absolute drivel. It is badly written, confusingly plotted, clearly not proofread (has the role of proofreader been done away with - all the books I have read recently are littered with grammatical errors and other mistakes?) and so, so, so, so annoyingly American, even though set mostly in Edinburgh and its environs.

I never thought I would say this about any book but it really is more ludicrous than the truly awful Da Vinci Code and it is even more badly written than Dan Brown's disasterpiece.

It moves from preposterous situation to preposterous situation without blinking, which sounds like it might at least be fun, but it is so poorly written that it is not fun at all just confusingly dull and boring.

I have had to give it up as too, too dreadful to expose my eyes and brain to after page 250. I should get a medal for getting that far. I never gave up with the Da Vinci Code, although I wish I had.

It is always possible that this book may turn into a masterpiece after page 250 and I am never going to find out, although I am willing to bet it doesn't.

I would like to give this minus 1 star but Amazon will not allow it. It seems to think that every book deserves at least 1 star - an unjustifiably positive approach in this book's case.
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on 10 May 2010
This is an enjoyable enough read, perfect to take on holidays but.. at times the writing or perhaps proofing is sloppy, mixed up tenses, confusing disjointed syntax, also the wrapping up of the story is disappointing and clumsy. Anyone with a passing of knowledge of Macbeth, Shakespeare and witchcraft will find the constant explanations tedious, a glossary would have done the job rather than fragmenting the text I really don't think anyone lacking an interest in Shakespeare or the Occult would read this, Other than that it is none the less a interesting story and a pleasant enough way to spend a few hours, just don't expect too much.
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on 2 January 2015
I really enjoyed this book as I did the first one The Shakespeare Secret. I hope the writer will produce many more. It's a thriller but an intellectual one, a book about theatre and Shakespeare and also partly a historical novel. It is very well-researched and I found myself searching on maps for all the locations such as Dunsinane Hill and Loch Bruicheach.
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on 1 June 2010
Possibly one of the worst books I have ever read. Fortunately I did not buy it - it was in a pile I was given.

Appalling characterisation. An incredibly weak storyline.

Really terrible
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on 9 April 2016
A thrilling read based around The Scottish Play.
As well as being a gripping thriller there is also a wealth of intriguing information about Shakespeare and the history of the famous tragedy.
The kind of book you would love to have written yourself!
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on 31 January 2016
Wasn't as good as the first book, The Shakespeare Secret. I found it a bit drawn out with a slightly shallow plot and a little unbelievable in places.

I found myself skipping over parts with drawn out detail but felt compelled to read to the end to find out what was happening in other areas, although the bits I found interesting seemed to be skimmed over quickly.

Readable but nothing to get excited about!
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