My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A brave tackling of all the issues in the world today plus the mystery murder. Obviously.
Firstly I would like to say a very big thank you to Bluette Matthey for sending me an early arc in exchange for an honest review. I have not read any of the other books in this series, and even though I can see threads from recurring characters the book itself is very self-contained and works as a stand alone as well.
To set the scene, we follow our main- Hardy Durkin who ‘stumbles’ upon another murder mystery. We are set in snowy Switzerland, and we are revolved around a skiing group who are in training for a ski-event that happens annually. Our group are a bunch of strangers who have been brought together and Hardy Durkin has been brought in to help his friend Abby lead the group. After one of the group falls whilst skiing, it leads them to find a body that one of them recognises- we met said dead body at the beginning (alive and well I add). And so starts our murder mystery- WHODUNNIT?
For 280ish pages, it really packed A LOT inside it.
At the beginning it starts off how you would expect, a body is found- and so starts the mystery. As you would hope there is tension between finding out who the person is, and how he had important information to deliver to someone. And we find out he is linked to one person from our group – oooooo. But this is where the tension ends, it was lost in fluff and bouts of historical information that weakened what was supposed to be main plot. Early on, we plunge deeply into historical origins of The Knights Templar without warning. It was incredibly informative (and quite interesting), but I felt that the link to the actual narrative wasn’t quite strong enough to justify such a strong diversion from the plot. There were many faint threads throughout the book which tied these lengthy diversions together, but as a crime novel, this didn’t maintain enough tension for me. There was just so much going on and a lot of it seemed random and clogged the pace of the narrative; the politics of oil -? The thief, why? The fascination with incest- why?
ugh. Speaking of, the brother and sister made love while THE MAID was in the room and the door was left ajar. For a couple trying to keep it subtle, the language used between them in public was also crude and not at all subtle.
Hardy Durkin is our protagonist- or our male detective Mary Poppins. He was practically perfect in every way, even the other characters thought so in their thoughts, or before they spoke with their opinion. It was draining – to be realistic characters should be flawed somehow for us as the readers to relate.
On another note the Prince and the Princess were genuinely nice people – enjoyable to read and I really did love them together.
In conclusion, I can see the intentions were there and I can see faintly how the whole story joined up, but I feel Matthey tried to take way too much on in this book- history, politics, religion, terrorism, I was wading through the thick mud of it, trying to find the threads that would lead me to the core. (Being Hardy Durkin, duh)
Released 26.04.2017, available to buy here.