Lefevre, a French archaeologist, has arrived in Istanbul determined to uncover a lost Byzantine treasure. Yashim is commissioned to find out more ...Show synopsisLefevre, 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.Hide synopsis
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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.
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.
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