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Enjoyable but not engaging
on 8 February 2015
An enjoyable, layered mystery set largely in Restoration Oxford - but somehow the story did not quite work, for me.
The period detail and varied narrative voices are very cleverly done. I am not sure what I found wearisome. Perhaps it was that there were far too many long interior monologues - and the first two narrators, at least, were too self-satisfied and lacking in human sympathy - though I don't doubt the realism of such characters.
The trouble is that I simply didn't care about them enough.
By comparison, The Dream of Scipio by the same author, was more exquisitely modelled and the characters, though no less self-seeking, were more sophisticated and subtler.