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Sunday 12 April 2015

The City of Lost Secrets by Katie McVay


This is another of those Da Vinci Code-type books, where the plot centres around shocking the foundations of Christianity. However, it’s not as plump and well rounded as Dan Brown’s books, not by a long chalk.

That said, if you try to forget other similar-based (and, I’m afraid, better) novels, it’s not a bad read. I did find myself rather engrossed.

Mara Beltane is a chick-lit novelist on her way to a modestly successful career. When she catches a glimpse of a TV documentary that throws doubt on Jesus’ final resting place, the seed for her next bestseller is firmly implanted in her brain. Without further ado, she’s Jerusalem-bound, where she manages, conveniently, to find a couple of willing aides to get to the bottom of the premise. It’s a tight-rope walk: she could end up writing one heck of a bestseller or end up completely shattering a career she’s worked hard to build up.

Although it does suspend belief somewhat (not specifically from a religious viewpoint, but because of the unlikely convenience of events as they unfold), it’s hard not to become just a little immersed in the writing. It’s quite well written, but the editing needed extra attention. I’m a little annoyed by the latter, actually: it’s obvious an editor knew what s/he was doing: s/he just needed to do more. 

The ending is rather an anti-climax, but I feel invested enough in Mara Beltane to pursue any subsequent adventures (this is the first in the Mara Beltane mysteries).

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