Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones

The String DiariesA jumble of entries, written in different hands, different languages, and different times. They tell of a rumour. A shadow. A killer.

The only interest that Oxford Professor Charles Meredith has in the diaries is as a record of Hungarian folklore ... until he comes face to face with a myth.

For Hannah Wilde, the diaries are a survival guide that taught her the three rules she lives by: verify everyone, trust no one, and if in any doubt, run.

But Hannah knows that if her daughter is ever going to be safe, she will have to stop running and face the terror that has hunted her family for five generations.

And nothing in the diaries can prepare her for that.

A novel of historical suspense that merges with the present day, I really enjoyed the majority of this story.
The pacing at the beginning is phenomenal, catching the reader’s attention from the very first line. The story develops slowly and carefully throughout the book’s first half, which is why the second half, especially the last few chapters is a disappointment. The last half feels very rushed compared to the rest of the writing, making the climactic sections lose the impact they might have had.
The characters are fine, though they are not as developed as they could be. The author, understandably, spends most of the time making sure the plot points are tightly connected, to the detriment of characterization. Some of the characters, like Gabriel, Sebastien, and Eva, deserved a bit more filling out to really connect to the rest of the story.
All in all, this book had a really great beginning which deserved a better ending, but I would still recommend it to people who like a good thriller with a touch of history within it.

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