Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Abomination by Jonathan Holt

In The Abomination, a woman dressed in the sacred robes of a Catholic priest is found dead on the streets of Venice. She quickly becomes known as the Abomination. This is Captain Kat Tapo's first murder case in Venice and she's about to embark on a complicated, but exciting journey. This is the first book in the Carnivia Trilogy, a thrilling series in which a police captain and a female US military officer team up to "unravel a dark conspiracy linking the CIA and the Catholic Church". The parties involved include the US Military, the Italian mafia, the Catholic Church, a corrupt police force, and much more.

I enjoyed this first book in the trilogy. The story was extremely interesting and educational, but got a little too complicated with all of the opposing forces at work. Some of the time, I couldn't figure out what was going on.

The story also delves into the wars that broke up the former Yugoslavia. While the conspiracy theories kept me interested and on my toes, I think I needed some background information on the war in order to understand the implications and intricacies of what was going on. I got bits and pieces, but not the whole thing. I hadn't followed what was going on when the war was taking place because news stories about the war generally make my eyes glaze over.

Having said that, there was a lot I loved about this book. I loved all of the information about Venice and the US government in Italy. I had no idea that there were still so many US servicemen and servicewomen on bases in that country. The information about the Catholic Church and its priests were equally fascinating.

This was the first book I've read set in Venice. What a wonderful city! I loved all of the information on the Acqua alta, which is "high water" in Italian. I'm definitely going to read more about this subject.

Some of the story takes place in Carnivia, an online version of Venice where users could meet in secret and leave messages for each other. It was apparently accurate right down to the number of bricks and stones in the city. I adored the idea, but I wanted this "online world" to figure more prominently in the story than it did. What can I say, I'm a geek.

Recommended. Even though I didn't love this book, I'll probably read the next book in the series.

For more information about this book, please visit the HarperCollins website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins for this review copy.

The Abomination by Jonathan Holt, Harper (HarperCollins), ©2013. ISBN 9780062264336 (Uncorrected Proof), 437p.

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