I have read and reviewed three other books by the author previously.
Before going into this review, I should admit that there is something about Sir John Appelby and his style of ‘sleuthing’ and the way the author talks about the cast of characters around him appeals very strongly to me. In the other books that I have picked up by the same author, they leaned a lot on ‘classics’ according to the British and knowing nothing of Latin or Greek, I was at a loss during parts of conversations that might have otherwise held nuggets of something. This particular volume hardly mentions such lofty things while simultaneously pondering some philosophical questions about the state of mind of good vs evil.
It begins with overheard conversations on a train between students who just graduated. They argue about things that sound profound but might have no direct impact on any of their lives (as all of us are wont to do at that age!). This banter is interrupted unexpectedly by the other man in the train carriage. This man is at the core of what is set to unfold. We have a missing man and the repercussions of what that might mean quickly introduced to us after this train journey.
Now the plot itself is not very convoluted, and everyone (I am sure) will have some inkling about the small parts of the solution, if not the whole. What I enjoyed most has to be the overall narration of the entire tale. The author had me chuckling so many times during the book that I felt like this might actually be one of those books I would not have trouble re-reading. There was a lot of clever humour disguised as ordinary conversation. I read it as slowly as I could (which in itself is not something I do).
There are few times when a book not rated or recommended highly by the majority of the web just clicks, and this was one of those times. I felt energized enough to write this review immediately after reading (at least the same day), and it has been months since something like that has happened.
It might not be for everyone, but this particular visit with Sir John Appelby, his wife and some of his colleagues was very entertaining, and I cannot wait for the next time I get to come back to this world.
My copy was a reprint ARC by the publishers, which has not affected my review in any way. My only bias would be my previous affinity with the author’s writing.