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Sherlock Holmes meets Flashman in the first instalment of Adam Carver's adventures: from the foggy streets of London to the bandit-infested wilds of Greece, this is a wonderfully exuberant piece of Victoriana. A chilling mystery set amidst the glamour and squalor of pre-Revolutionary Paris. It's a great time to be in a reading group! Discover new titles and books you might not normally pick up and buy, or re-examine books you already know and love. You can make your reading experience richer and more rewarding by being a member of a reading group and meeting others who are interested in sharing their reading experience.

Fiction Search results. Advanced Search. Refine your search. Sort order. Jun 09, Robin Carter rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction.

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Review This book has much to make it appeal to the reader of Historical Fiction and Historical Crime Fiction because it is advertised as Flashman meets Sherlock Holmes. The only problem with that description is that it builds a level of anticipation in the reader. The early part of the book seems to be too much laying of ground work and back story. Rallis and Greece seem to be the catalyst that brings the book finally to life. This is a page book and took me a week to read, about four times longer than it should. It was a slog. But that said I did finish it, something made me keep reading.

If you like the time period you may enjoy it. View 2 comments. Aug 01, L.

Nick Rennison

Ring rated it it was ok. Adam Carver is a former Cambridge scholar down on his luck who turns to investigation following the visit of a beautiful but mysterious woman to his rooms. Along with his faithful sidekick Quint, he travels throughout London stumbling over bodies, dodging fights and bullets as he is brought deeper and deeper into a tale of mythical treasures.

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First the positives. The scenes are often beautifully well-rendered. The author clearly knows his stuff as far as the era is concerned with people talking Adam Carver is a former Cambridge scholar down on his luck who turns to investigation following the visit of a beautiful but mysterious woman to his rooms. The author clearly knows his stuff as far as the era is concerned with people talking like they really belong in the period and some fantastic descriptions of locations most imagined but excellently so.

However, the number of times that Carver sits around having conversations with others so the reader can be brought up to speed - with an artist friend, an old man at his gentleman's club, the manservant Quint - gets wearing really quickly. The author seems largely unable to write an action scene effectively and the last sixty or so pages rush to a breakneck conclusion that left me wanting to throw the book out the nearest window.

Too much prattling on and nowhere near enough action. It would need the hero to get out of his armchair and actually engage in some action though first. One of the most disappointing and frustrating things I've read in a while. Jul 02, Ruth rated it liked it Shelves: crime-historical. Once again, the synopsis on the back of the book mentions key facts that only come to light towards the end of the tale. Very annoying. This book was obviously meticulously researched but got a bit wordy at times.

The atmosphere of upper and middle class Victorian England is captured with skill. Although the main character was described towards the beginning of the book ie " Tall and well built, he filled out the evening dress he was wea c FWFTB: archaeologist, mystery, treasure, blackmail. Although the main character was described towards the beginning of the book ie " Tall and well built, he filled out the evening dress he was wearing.

His black hair shone with the macassar oil he had applied earlier. He looked, he decided, exactly as a fashionable young man in the greatest metropolis on earth should look. Of course, he berates himself for doing this at the end of the book, but by then its too late. But there seems to be a distinct lack of passion or drive and even his mulling over a supposed lost love or his father's suicide does not have the tinge of reality that some authors manage to capture. In saying all of that, it is an interesting read and I would recommend to those of the normal crew that have a penchant for Victorian England.

Nov 17, Martin rated it it was amazing. What a great book!


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I found this in a local charity shop and being a fan of victoriana I decided to coff up the pittance being asked for it. It is a very good pastiche indeed. The language that is used especially by Carver's sidekick, Quint, is wonderfully colourful and an absolutely spot on Victorian street argot. I do enjoy a historical novel that relishes the time and place.

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With Carver's Quest you do get an immersive experience, sometimes at the cost of slightly wandering away from the narrat What a great book! With Carver's Quest you do get an immersive experience, sometimes at the cost of slightly wandering away from the narrative strand but nevermind.


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  8. You end up forgiving the author this because he so obviously enjoys the tour guide part of the experience. I enjoyed this so much I have gone out and purchased part two. What a Tale! A slow start out of the gate, but compelling to the end! About as close as. I'll get to Greece, and we'll worth the ticket! So begins a Victorian mystery of relics, pride and arrogance, lust for wealth and imperial smugness. Set in Mid-Victorian life — it is — this first of a series is presented as a Victorian adventure, although in its eventual focus of the re patriation of relics it is decidedly modern or for the British Museum, even still, incomprehensible.

    The writing feels a little flat, a little too much description between the moments of adventure, risk or daring and with the modern sensibilities and contemporary views just a little too obvious — but then this kind of manly adventure is not really my genre, so it could be that I have the generic reference codes wrong. Entertaining but not engrossing, it kept me engaged but not all that excited. That said, reading it as a thriller, invoking the generic codes of crime fiction, there is a good sense of bewilderment, and to his credit Rennison manages to keep the plot twists fairly surprising.

    Apr 06, Robert Hepple rated it liked it. The novel is more about Victoriana, and less about plot. The main characters spend a lot of time wandering around Victorian London while the plot stands still. Just as well, since the plot is quite flimsy and relies on a few more coincidences than needed. As remarked by other reviewers, the main character is a bit wooden, he is just a vehicle to allow the reader to observe the story - other than that, most of the plot would probably be the same even if you omitted the main character. In spite of The novel is more about Victoriana, and less about plot.

    In spite of all of that, the story is great fun, and you do learn something about the background in the process. Dec 08, Campbell rated it liked it Shelves: fiction. Mixed feelings about this. Good points: Victorian London was lovingly and vividly brought to life.


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    The main story itself was a good one. Bad points: pacing was all over the place. Too much exposition of things that had happened previously there were two whole chapters where one character explained to another what was going on! On the whole, a forgettable novel but there were just enough hints of promise that any future novels in this series might be worth reading. Sep 03, James rated it liked it Shelves: action-adventure , historical-fiction , library , paperback.

    Finished the book this morning.