Book review: The Abomination by Jonathan Holt

Full disclosure: I was sent a free copy of this book by the publishers after they read my review of Dan Brown’s Inferno.  My review is based entirely on my opinion after reading the book from cover to cover.

I started this book expecting it to be similar to a Dan Brown book.  There are some similarities but they aren’t as obvious as the publisher would have you believe (in a good way!).  The story is set in Venice and there is a lot of detailed description of the city and surrounding area.  There is some history of the city but this history isn’t as central to the plot as in a Dan Brown novel (however there is lots more history that is).  I must mention the symbols as well – there are some symbols (standard fodder for a Dan Brown clone) which form part of the story line.

The pace of the story is more measured than a Dan Brown but that’s not to say it doesn’t hold your attention.  In fact I found myself wanting to read the book every day to find out what happened next.  The characters were believable and well described, so you want to know what happens to them.  The early story flicks between the three main characters and if you are bad with names like I am this can be a little confusing until you work out who is who.

The quality of the writing is much better than Dan Brown’s style which makes up for the slightly lower levels of suspense.  The slower pace isn’t a bad thing as it gives the reader chance to assimilate the story and enjoy the ‘scenery’.  The chase and action scenes are much more believable than Dan Brown’s and the characters don’t rely on luck and memory from previous visits.  The plot is believable for most of the story but becomes a little too fanciful towards the conclusion, however that is to be expected from a thriller!

I have to say that if the story portrays Italian crime fighting and justice accurately then I feel sorry for the people of Italy!  However I really enjoyed the writing and this book made for a very entertaining read.  This is the first of a trilogy and I look forward to the next book being released.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon/Goodreads – highly recommended.