Sunday 2 March 2014

The Abduction - Jonathan Holt
I've been waiting for my copy of this book for a couple of months, and for anyone who isn't lucky enough to get an advance copy there are still 66 days to wait before the release of the hardback. All I can say is that I'm sorry for you, but it is well worth the wait. For anyone who doesn't know, this is the second in the Carnivia series. The first book, The Abomination, introduced us to a Venice as corrupt as it is beautiful and to the three central characters Kat Tapo, Holly Boland and the damaged genius Daniele Barbo. We also got our first view of the alternate cyber Venice that exists inside Daniele's creation Carnivia. Head of Zeus were very clever when it came to marketing the first book, there was a film trailer which seriously should have been put in front of a production company somewhere and a genuine if less detailed version of Carnivia went online. I'm sure that they will be as proactive when it comes to promoting this book too.
This is a classy thriller, sleek and extremely well put together. We have a beautiful city as the backdrop, but The Abduction takes us away from the beauty and builds the story in the dark hidden places. We are given a kidnapping that is far more than it seems, a corrupt church and a continuation of the dirty political secrets that made the first book such a good read. This book keeps the focus firmly within Italy, with events outside the country being integral to the plot but only seen second hand. This is in contrast to The Abomination where a good chunk of the action took place outside Italy. There are some strong threads that continue through this book from the first one, and I am pretty sure that there will be some big reveals in the third and final book. I certainly know that there are some characters who I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw them; and I hope that my gut instinct about them is proved to be correct when I get to read book three.
I would have thought that this would appeal to any fans of Dan Brown, the mysteries and conspiracies found here have a similar flavour, there are plenty of secret religious groups, and political back stabbing as well as an impressive body count. Where I feel the Carnivia series rises above the Langdon series is in basing it's corruption firmly in this world. The church plays a part, but the secrets being kept are all of a decidedly secular nature. You won't find the blood of Christ here, just the everyday corruption of Cold War and War on Terror politics. So far each of the books have had enough basis in reality to make them an even more interesting read, certainly enough to fuel a good few conspiracy theories anyway. Now there's just the long wait for book three.........

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