I love allusions and little easter eggs in a novel, but not when they are as contrived as the ones in this one. Horowitz did a great deal of research and planning to fit them all in, but will you recognize any of them? No, because each one is part of the puzzle the author builds.
While it is fun to search for easter eggs someone, even if not you, might recognize, it is annoying to have to have each one explained to you in a lengthy dissection at the end of the book.
I can admire the Horowitz's planning all of the details with extensive research of anything that could possibly amplify the lion/leo trope he has decided to use, the technique is more self-promoting than needed to advance the plot.
Most reviews are extremely positive, but I found the book manipulative and the pacing slow and a bit disjointed.
Read in Sept. Blog review scheduled for
Mystery/Thriller. Nov. 10, 2020. Print length: 608 pages.
Song of the Dead is the first in a series featuring Ben Westphall. It is one of the strangest mystery/crime books I've ever read. I certainly didn't know what to believe.
Police detective Ben Westphall is burnt out and leading a quiet life in the North of Scotland. Things change when he is assigned to investigate the cold case of a UK national who disappeared in Eastern Europe under mysterious circumstances and who, despite being declared dead, has re-appeared, claiming to have been held for over a decade, various body parts having been harvested during that time. Westphall travels to Estonia, chasing leads and shadows that may lead to an international drugs and organ trafficking conspiracy.
Westphall is an oddity of ex-secret service, current police detective, and a "sensitive" to the paranormal. Or is he a burned out middle-aged man with mental problems? Interesting premise: a man who was declared dead and identified by both his girlfriend and his parents, turns up alive. Missing a few body parts.
So...I didn't exactly love it, but I might try another one in the series. I guess I'm curious about Westphall.
Crime/Thriller. 2016. Print length: 272 pages.