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only reason I didn't give it five stars was the language. I really don't like books and movies that can't tell a story without using foul language. makes me not want to finish it. didn't grow up with that language, and our family doesn't use it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I have read all of Sussman's books and without doubt this is his worst. It is way too long and the author drags its out with character’s soliloquies about what is happening and wondering what to do next.
We meet our old friend Khalifa and Ben-Roi, the heroes of two previous novels. In this volume both characters are caught up in personal problems over which they meditate for what seems a long time. Thus the story advances at a snail’s pace. A great part of the plot is concerned with actually finding the Labyrinth of Osiris and the clues which point to it.
There are many sub plots in this book, which are rather uninteresting. One of the subplots deals with bringing Romanian girls to Egypt to be prostitutes. Those who are bringing in the prostitutes actually work for a major American company whose current business is disposing of toxic waste, which they are dumping into the Labyrinth of Osiris hidden away in the Egyptian Desert. This waste is causing the poisoning of local wells which is why Khalifa is involved.
Ben Roi gets involved due to the murder of a journalist. As he explores the journalists writing and life trying to figure out who killed her, he discovers the prostitution ring.
As you might expect the story overlaps at this point and both detectives once again are working together from different ends but on the same story.
While these two subplots are what set the stage for a search for the Labyrinth itself, nevertheless they take up way too much time due to the personal problems each character is experiencing. The characters spend too much time worrying about their personal problems as they investigate the subplots and this bogs the book down.
This should not have been so long – but the author spends a lot of time with each man’s thoughts and worries about his personal problems, which intersect slightly with the main plot. But these personal meditations take up way too much time. In the past Sussman’s books moved along and were exciting – but this one simply drags along and I found it hard to finish.
The narrator is excellent and gives each character a unique voice. It is only the narration which saved the book and stopped me from rating it a ONE.
The best book that Sussman ever wrote is The Lost Army of Cambyses. This was his first book and it was his best. Not too long but excitement on every page and it focused on the modern problem of terrorism. It does not have the two detectives which were to become features of his later books.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Having read or listened to all of author Paul Sussman's previous books I was really looking forward to this one and it certainly did not disappoint.
An intriguing fast paced story with many twists and turns - a thoroughly good listen and I highly recommend it!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I have always been in two minds about Paul Sussman. He has the ability to grip from the beginning; his canvas spreads across the Middle East both ancient and modern and his knowledge of the area, it's customs, people and history oozes from the story. He tells epic tales in a way that, in the main, urges the reader/listener unrelentingly to the end. I absolutely adore his characters, especially Inspector Khalifa. On the other hand his novels can be too real for the reader/listener who is after some simple escapism. He deals unrelentingly and, to my mind, with too much detail with topics such as, children's deaths, prostitution and rape. The level of swearing by the main characters might put some off. There are areas where he lets himself down by lazy writing. There is too much reliance on coincidence and his protagonists consistently put themselves in positions of peril through sheer bloodymindedness. Having said the above I have read all of his novels and would have continued to do so but for his early death - the brilliance outshines the flaws. The narration of this talking book is excellent. Gordon Griffiths copes extremely well with dialogue with different accents without letting any of them slip.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful