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The Flanders Panel Paperback – June 7, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I couldn't help but wonder if I was missing some of the writer's heart in the translation. The characters are expertly crafted, but lacked heart and connection with me. Although I enjoyed the moves of the deadly game, I had little feeling for those that give their lives in the course of the chess maneuvering. The language, while tight and European-sounding, seemed to be a bit generic at points.
Overall, the threads of the mystery draw tighter and tighter and the author leaves a few surprises for the reader. Some may find intrigue in the chess aspects or the art aspects...I found myself primarly drawn into the strategizing of the villain and those trying to unmask the villain's identity. The suspense was based on the unfolding strategy, such as in a game of chess. And I was captured. Check and mate.
In TFP, the topics du jour are art restoration, historical intrigues, and chess, and the three blend together to create a sinister and satisfying thriller -- I took this one down in about four hours, while on vacation at the beach, and was hooked as soon as the real action started. (Give it about 20-25 pages before you put it down the first time.)
Using the process of a chess game to drive the action of the book, Perez-Reverte manages to make an often-dull game vibrant, exciting, and threatening. I'm a chess fan, myself, but you don't have to be to get into, wrapped up in, or to the end of this book. Diagrams are included to show each move in the "game" that unfolds, and the action on the board is mirrored in real life -- a sinister murder for each piece captured on the table. The characters are believable and well-written, and P-R's prose, as usual, flows well and feels good going down.
If anything disappoints, it might be the ending. Like "The Club Dumas", another fantastic intelli-thriller, the ending feels a bit rushed, and less complete than you're led to expect... it IS plausible, and it ISN'T obvious, and that's enough to make it passable.Read more ›
This book (as is The Club Dumas) is a bibliomystery fan's dream come true. Julia, a woman who restores paintings for a living, is asked to help restore a fifteenth-century masterpiece, the painting depicts a chess game between the Duke of Flanders and his knight - but within it is a hidden message - Who Killed The Knight and thus the novel begins.
This book is filled to the brim with fascinating information about art, history and chess. If you liked this book you should run out and get The Eight by Katherine Neville- is another stunner!
A huge part of the problem for me was the characters. They are pretentious beyond belief, the kind of people you would never want to know. A pretentious character now and again isn't bad: obviously you do not need to like all the characters in a book. However, I didn't like characters that weren't supposed to be "bad". I don't think there was a single person in this book I cared about, at all. The worst part, though, is how much they seemed just to be vehicles for the author to say "look how smart I am!" There is a faux-intellectualism that pervades this book and makes it really hard to enjoy.
While I was reading this book, I would periodically read off passages to my significant other so we could both laugh at how ridiculous the dialogue was. I wish I had bookmarked them, or noted them all down, because there were some great moments of unintentional comic relief. I only remember one, and I was able to look it up through Google Books to quote verbatim: "I'll stab you to death if you do. Like José in Mérimée's Carmen."
To me, this line epitomizes the book. The character talked about stabbing only to reference Carmen, in a really clunky way. But even worse, it seems as though he (and thus the author) is saying "not only am I familiar with Carmen, I know that Bizet based his much more well-known opera on a work by Mérimée." As a lone line in a book that was otherwise well-written, I would have passed this by without much thought. But given that the whole tone of the book is like this, it just further serves to illustrate the attempts at intellectualism falling flat.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There was a point where I thought I would like this book. Read more
I am not a good reviewer for books but I love this style of writing and bought an other book from this author and will see - or better read - if it will be also so complex and... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Petra Ussler
This book is set in Madrid and offers suspense, deceit, the world of art history, friendship and betrayal, the intricacies of chess, and murder. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Terra Hangen
My first Pérez-Reverte! Not my last. Have read 18 of his 22 novels in both his genres: literary fiction and historical fiction (the Captain Alatriste series). Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. Coane
It could have been a great book. Too much chess and contrived end.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Perez-Reverte is one of the most skilled writers alive today; his Captain Alatriste series about a 17th century swordsman is also very well-written and very entertaining. Read morePublished 6 months ago by charlie44