I have read a few books out of order of this series, but each of them wanting to meet these people again
My reviews are linked below:
For once I picked up where I had left off in this series. I read the previous book and knew the mental state of everyone involved. After a disastrous exhibition where Rowland was trying to show the world what he knew about the Nazi’s behaviour within their borders, things between his brother and him came to an explosive position. I was a little sad to not see enough of his nephews this time around, but the little we did see was hilarious ( in an adorable way).
The beauty of this series is the fact that the travels of the friends chart the direction of change. The time is after the first world war, and the rumblings of the next are starting to pile up. Because of their frequent travels, they know more than any of their contemporaries. They try in vain to indicate the seriousness of the upcoming days to the people around him. The main protagonists are Rowland Sinclair, the wealthiest of the lot who bankrolls most of their expeditions, Edna his muse and a very enigmatic character, Clyde and Milton who each bring something different to the equation. As usual, each chapter is preceded by a newspaper article which has some parts of the previous or upcoming chapter hidden within. It is, as always the most fascinating part of the narrative. It is also a series that you can pick up randomly (like I did) and apart from a few spoilers for the previous works, it still works individually.
In ‘A dangerous language’ we see a lot of the local communists and the people who rise up against them. There is familial friction, a lot of physical fracases but the band stick together. The banter is lighter because there is a lot at stake and everyone seems to always be on the move. It was an entertaining work, and it was a much faster read than the first few books of the series.
I missed the opportunity to read the book based in Shanghai, but I met the group again in Singapore. This time, they have been called on an urgent errand to the US. Rowland is the executor of a will. I faintly remember the friend mentioned here, but the memory was enough to make sense of this instalment. The book was fast-paced and interesting and laced with hilarious banter. It was undoubtedly the best work of the series (given that I have only read half of it, my statement must be taken with a pinch of salt). I laughed aloud multiple times. Given that this happened in between perilous times where someone or the other was grievously hurt, just proves the quality of the humour.
The case here is more complicated than I expected. Initially brought to read the will and execute his late friend’s wishes, Rowland and gang realise a lot more is afoot. I guessed the main culprit way too early in the narrative. Despite knowing the culprit and hitting my head at how stupid they were being, I still relished the read. I read it in two sittings and that too only because it was nighttime and I need my sleep. I was a mildly heartbroken at the end about the current state of things, relationship-wise but I am starting to realise there is probably no happily-ever-afters for any of them!
I received the books thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience and prior knowledge of the series.