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Posted January 3, 2009
I have read and enjoyed all of Carol Goodman's previous novels, and the subject matter of this one--an archeological dig in southern Italy with flashbacks to ancient Rome-- sounded irresistible. All of this anticipation made reading the book doubly disappointing. I'm not sure where it went wrong for me. I kept getting distracted by the onslaught of Roman myths and names which I had to reference to keep the plot straight. A little glossary would have been helpful. I was insulted by the cheap plot device the author wove throughout to titillate: the constant hints about the mysterious, orgy-like rites that would be revealed at the end of the book. The plot was also littered with too many mishaps, acts of violence and coincidental encounters, and the characters' under reactions to all of them strained my credibility. In the end, I think it was the character development--or lack of it-- that really ruined the experience for me. I simply didn't like, respect or care about any of these people; with only a quarter of the book left, I gave up and started skimming, with little interest in discovering what happened to them or why. Carol Goodman is usually an engaging writer, and readers shouldn't judge her by this novel. Try The Ghost Orchid--or anything else she has written--instead.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 30, 2010
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