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What disappointed you about Carnival for the Dead?
Having read (or listed to) all of the Nic Costa series by David Hewson, I came to expect the usual lot of mystery, quirky characters and twists, but this latest (actually stand-alone) novel featuring pathologist Teresa Lupo somehow failed to hook me at all. Masked people move through the cold streets and canals, and I eventually lost track of all of them - especially since there were a number of British expats among them, some of them acting in the here and now, some from centuries ago. And strange small dogs. And of course: The usual influence and symbolism of ancient paintings.
The story flounders between the cold February reality of Venice in the Carnival season and a second novel presented in form of a serial deposited regularly at Teresa's doorstep.Confused? So was I, believe me.
What about Juanita McMahon’s performance did you like?
She made the most of this convoluted novel.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Sadly, not a lot. Except maybe to give Venice a wide berth during Carnival.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
.....you will be rewarded wit a rich listening experience ... Especially if you know and/or love Venice.
This is a bit of a departure for David Hewson. Teresa Lupo is on her own in Venice looking for her unconventional missing aunt and has to follow a trail of mystical tails to get to the bottom of why and where she is hiding. It has mystery rather than murder at its centre and the other characters, including Nic Costa, are notable by their absence, apart from the odd related memory or thought. Venice is perfect as a background to this tale, but some of the supernatural aspects might not appeal to all readers.
I miss the usual narrator (Saul Reichlin) whose voice I love and found that Juanita McMahon didn't always get the phrasing right. It also annoys me that directors/editors can't get an Italian expert in to advice on and correct the pronunciation of place names and other Italian words. If you happen to have a smattering of Italian, it takes a while to understand what she is saying as the stress and articulation is wrong - especially the totally misplaced lisping 's' - which is Spanish, I believe.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
It annoyed me and dissatisfied me, throughout. The tortuous plot was much too long and often repetitive. The prose was turgid in places. There were some clever clues, but these were unnecessarily laboured.
I felt that the characterisation of Theresa Lupo was very much at odds with the previous books in the Costa series. I very much preferred the earlier, more self-assured, incarnation.
It certainly didn't help that the narrator knew no Italian. Her pronunciation was cringe-making, and sometimes downright misleading. Bring back Saul Reichlin!
What a disappointment! I wonder if Hewson, whose Costa series I have relished, was working to a publisher’s deadline and felt obliged to get something out, however inferior it might be?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful