A dark and interesting tale about the mysticism of Greek mythology.
David Jeffreys is a best selling American author, he moves to Naples with his wife and daughter in order to serve out his retirement in peace. But his wife harbours a deep resentment towards him, feeling abandoned as he focuses on his writing and his daughter. She begins a series of affairs, and when Jeffreys finds out, the night spirals out of control, resulting in the murder of Jeffreys and his daughter. Several years later David’s brother Jake and his family decide to take a vacation in Naples, visiting Jennifer, the widow of his dead brother. The vacation starts out glorious, but things in the house begin to make the guests feel uneasy, and Jennifer is acting very strange, what exactly happened the night of David’s death?
I love Greek mythology and the opening prologue about the oracle dwelling in a deep cave was very enticing. The first few chapters too when there are hints of mythology and magical goings on, but then it turns towards a crime thriller, the messy death of the family and the subsequent reveal of the truth many years later. It kind of felt like the prologue didn’t fit with the rest of the story, and the mythology aspect did not seem as integrated as I had anticipated it to be.
Despite this, it’s still an interesting story. The reveal at the end of the story is a fairly unsurprising one, you can guess early on what’s going to happen, but it’s well written and still enjoyable to read. In terms of plot, it kept me interesting without seeming boring and it wasn’t too fast paced either.
One thing I really did enjoy was the setting, it was very well described and it really felt like the author knew Italy well, I could easily imagine the places he was describing. If you regard the book purely as a mystery thriller – disregarding the earlier chapters, it makes for an exciting mystery thriller, but it wasn’t particularly what I was expecting. I am on the fence about the book in general as the story itself is a pretty interesting one but the integration of the mythology was a big issue for me. I kept waiting for some sort of link to tie everything together, but that didn’t appear.
I liked the characters well enough, it was easy to follow. I particularly liked Jake’s connection to archaeology, and I expected a lot more to come from that, rather than just background information. It makes for an all round enjoyable but average read, but if you enjoy mystery thrillers the book is self-published and is available on Net-Galley for free, happy reading!