Lefevre, a French archaeologist, has arrived in Istanbul determined to uncover a lost Byzantine treasure. Yashim is commissioned to find out more about him. But when Lefevre's mutilated body is discovered outside the French embassy, it turns out that there is only one suspect: Yashim himself. Once again, Yashim finds himself in a race against time ...
Lefevre, a French archaeologist, has arrived in Istanbul determined to uncover a lost Byzantine treasure. Yashim is commissioned to find out more about him. But when Lefevre's mutilated body is discovered outside the French embassy, it turns out that there is only one suspect: Yashim himself. Once again, Yashim finds himself in a race against time to uncover the startling truth behind a shadowy secret society dedicated to the revival of the Byzantine Empire, caught in a deadly game deep beneath the city streets, a place where the stakes are high - and betrayal is death. The sequel to The Janissary Tree.
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Goodwin's descriptions of Istanbul are wonderful and paint a lovely image in your mind as you read. The story is well paced and interesting and the characters are nicely complex without being brooding. Overall, a very enjoyable, quick read.
Jan 15, 2009
I read a really favorable review of this book last year in the NY Times. So I waited until it was available at reduced price and then bought it. Well, as is the case (at least for me) with so many reviews of books (and movies) by professional reviewers, the book fell far short of the reviewer's laudatory comments. It turned out to be tedious, boring, and largely pointless. As a mystery, it was not all gripping or intriguing in any way. As a novel, it was blah. As an introduction to 19th century Istanbul sites, scenery,and food, it was far less enlightening and useful than a non-fiction book would have been. All in all, I am glad I spent a minimal amount on Alibris rather than the full hardcover price charged when the book first came out.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-08-27 Early 19th-century Istanbul's teeming mix of nationalities, religions and cultures comes alive in this vibrant sequel to the Edgar-winning The Janissary Tree (2006). When French archeologist Maximilien Lefevre begins asking very pointed, well-informed questions about long-lost Greek artifacts and then is found dead outside the French embassy, series hero Yashim, a Turkish eunuch, finds himself suspected of the murder. His efforts to clear his name take him from markets and wharves to palaces and underground tunnels as he uncovers a secret society, unearths sacred relics and hunts the murderer. Goodwin's secondary characters, particularly Yashim's close friend Stanislaw Palewski, the world-weary Polish ambassador, are distinct and memorable, and the mystery presents an entertaining challenge to the reader as well as to charming, determined Yashim. With his second effort as intricate and delightful as the first, Goodwin takes his rightful place among such distinguished British historical mystery writers as Lindsay Davis and the late Edith Pargeter. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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