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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
34
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 June 2017
Good thriller
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VINE VOICEon 26 July 2016
This is one of a series of spin-off Sherlock Holmes novels, where the relatively elderly detective partners young theology student Mary Russell. This was the fifth to be published, but was set during a hiatus in the plot of the first novel, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, so I read it now (nearly three years) after that novel. This is a well written novel and the author has obviously done a great deal of research into the time and place, Palestine under the British Mandate just after the end of the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In places, the research is in my view a bit heavy at the expense of a well-flowing plot. Despite these literary merits, for me this doesn't work as a Sherlock Holmes novel; there are flashes of Holmesian brilliance, but for large tracts of the novel, he doesn't come across as the Great Detective; and Russell, while an interesting character, isn't entirely believable and her relationship with Holmes not really plausible within his fictional persona. So overall I'm not too sure if I'll pursue this series of a dozen or so novels, beyond the next one that I already have on my Kindle, and which sounds like it may be a bit more traditionally Sherlockian.
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on 4 March 2016
Excellent
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on 8 January 2017
I enjoyed this novel although the story took some time to get going as the author overdid descriptions of landscape and people. The climax of the novel was the search underground in Jerusalem for hidden explosives. The author cleverly mixed physical and mental struggles on the part of Holmes and Russell to engage the reader's attention.. The characters of Ali and Mahmoud didn't seem genuine, as later proves to be the case. Holmes as a character seems out of place in Palestine. It was only later that his acute observation and reasoning skills were employed to thwart the enemy bomb plot. Making the English army officer Plumbury the enemy chief was not convincing and his motivation was never explained.
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on 23 November 2014
My favorite of the Russell/Holmes books. The journies of the odd couple, written from Ms Russell's point of view draw one into the history of the Holy Land at the time of Lawrence of Arabia, the struggles of Arabs and Jews, and problems of a couple of Englishmen to become more or less acclimated to the people and the political problems at that time, more or less in the year 1915. One should read Justice Hall immediately after it -a different country, different problems but just as fascinating.
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on 30 August 2015
There are many reasons for wanting to read Laurie R. King's books, the main reason for me is her use of the English language and the construction of the whole narrative. It's like listening to someone with clear diction ! This book tells a tale and gives us a good history lesson.
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on 9 January 2016
I've read a few of these and some are very good. As a big Holmes fan I felt this one was a bit too convoluted and over long for what was offered as a finale. These novels are a bit mixed so you have to try a few to find the more credible ones.
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on 3 June 2015
Great detail about the country, dress and customs of the holy land. The pace was good and the suspense tense at times. An enjoyable read. Mary Russell at her best. A great series for those who like Sherlock Holmes.
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on 6 February 2015
Mary and Sherlock, great combination; intelligence and adventure. Location descriptions very vivid giving a real sense of place. Cleverly combines fictional characters with historical figures.
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on 28 June 2013
In the Beekeepers Apprentice Mary and Sherlock spend time in Palestine. Here are the people they met and the adventure they had. Really interesting insight into life there in the 20s.
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