The Book of Mirrors by E O Chirovici
|The Book of Mirrors by E O Chirovici|
|Reviewer: Megan Kenny|
|Summary: The Book of Mirrors draws the reader into a tangled web of deceit, ambition and murder. An easy page turner with twists to keep you guessing until the final act.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 326||Date: January 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
The Book of Mirrors according to the back cover is a tale about the dangers of memory. This is echoed by the author who states that the fallibility of his own memory was the catalyst for writing this book. The key conundrum at the heart of the Book of Mirrors is - who is telling the truth? How can people involved in the same event tell such wildly different stories and why would they want to? As the author states, this is as much a whydunit as a whodunit and the reader is drawn deeper into a web of ruthless ambition, manipulation and revenge.
I enjoyed this book; it's an easy read and the story is interesting, particularly because various chapters are told from the point of view of different characters which gives the reader a chance to see the crime in question through the eyes of many of those involved. The chapters are short and snappy which makes it easy to rattle through and the story sets off at a gallop. However, the pace soon slows to a trot and the story does become sluggish in the middle. Whilst different chapters are devoted to distinct characters, it is sometimes unclear who is speaking until a particular name or event is mentioned because the tone of each individual is remarkably similar. There is little character development and you do reach the end with a sense of who cares?. I wouldn't say any of the characters are particularly likeable, even memorable and as one reaches the end there is a sense that perhaps Chirovici started the book with a strong idea of what he wanted to write and then lost his way and meandered to a conclusion which may have some screaming is that it?. The key questions raised in this book remain frustratingly unanswered, something which can leave a bitter taste after three hundred plus pages of build-up.
However, the frustration of an unanswered question may be the at the core of the tale, and may serve to remind us that often a series of coincidences simply align to make lives coincide and those who are ruthless enough swim and leave the weaker ones to sink. All that being said, I wouldn't recommend this book on the basis that it is a deep commentary on the banality of evil or the ruthlessness of ambition; I'd be more likely to recommend it to someone who was going on holiday and wanted something easy to follow and light on the finer details. Chirovici also has a peculiar idiosyncratic way of writing which includes so much unnecessary detail that I often found myself thinking hurry up!, however this is pure pedantry and shouldn't detract from the overall outcome of The Book of Mirrors, which is a satisfying page turner. That is the great strength and perhaps the biggest disappointment of this book; it takes the age old trope of a murder mystery and does little to produce something which deviates from the tried and tested. It is satisfying for those who want an easy page turner, slightly hollow for those of us who like a bit more mystery with their murder and a bit more resolution at the finale.
For those interested in further reading about murder, mystery and art you could try The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra. For those who may like to learn more about memory you could try Memory by Harriet Harvey Wood which examines everything from our ancestors understanding of memory to modern scientific theories.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Book of Mirrors by E O Chirovici at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Book of Mirrors by E O Chirovici at Amazon.com.
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