Friday, November 15, 2013

Shadows On The Nile by Kate Furnivall

3.5 Star

1932, London. 27-year-old Jessica Kenton's stable life is torn apart when her younger brother, Timothy, vanishes. Vowing to find him, she follows Timothy's trail to the lush and exotic lands of Egypt but she doesn't expect the danger she is confronted with. There are powerful people who do not want her brother found but not everything is as it seems...

Kathryn - 3.5 Star

I love it when a book completely sucks you into it and then you’re a third of the way in and you suddenly realise you still aren’t sure you really get the intricacies of the plot.  That’s the way I felt reading Shadows On The Nile. I knew I should know more about the Sherlock Holmes references than I did and felt like I was constantly missing something important, like I’d missed a clue.  Somehow Furnivall managed to drag my foggy brain along though for the ride and I did get to solve the mystery along with other readers (but certainly not because of my own brilliant mind).  It made me want to pick up the massive Sherlock Holmes tome my father bought me as a teenager and really see what all the clues were about.

Furnivall has woven a fine (if a little complicated) story around several of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries set in 1930s London with a sister who is determined that her brother’s disappearance is anything but ordinary. I loved the clear images of settings and time in both London and Egypt but occasionally found the pace a little slow and over-detailed. The side-story of her possibly autistic brother was educational for me but it distracted me from the main story line as the brother’s voice completely halted any momentum I’d reached in the pace of the read. Although both depressing and touching I’m not sure it was entirely needed for the plot.

Furnivall’s vaguely romantic relationship between Jessica and Sir Monty does evolve at a painfully slow pace- I wish they’d just got on with it about a hundred pages earlier so we could have known his intentions- it probably added to the suspense of the novel but I am known to be somewhat impatient.

Shadows On The Nile was entertaining, and I feel inspired to put both some Sherlock Holmes and another Kate Furnivall on my reading list. 

Thank you to Berkley Trade  for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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