- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted August 15, 2009
I can well understand how it might have taken Brodrick, a relatively unknown voice in suspense and murder-mystery fiction, three years to write a second novel featuring his barrister-turned-monk Father Anselm. (I was intrigued by learning that Brodrick himself is a monk-turned-barrister.) Gardens of the Dead has a very convoluted plot, not told in strict linear fashion, and replete with twists and revelations that take their time in revealing the 'truth' of events and discoveries. I haven't read his earlier 2003 book which introduced Father Anselm, so I can make no comparisons, but I found the characters real and credible, and appreciated the craft that was required to pull various strands of the story together, though at times I found them a bit confusing, especially by time-shifting, and I was uncertain if I was seeing the plot revelations clearly and truly, or if I myself was getting all tangled up. That feeling, I suspect, is far more true to the real-life process of getting to the bottom of a complex mystery than the linear, progressive relating of insights that bring an investigator to the discovery of 'what really happened,' as many modern writers prefer. A lot of readers will find the going too slow, even tedious, and the connections between characters ultimately a little too pat, despite their unpredictability. Someone else characterized this book as Dickensian, and that's apt. This is not a book for light reading or quickie satisfaction. It takes time to digest. Will I look forward to another Father Anselm tale? Ask me after I've read the earlier novel.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.