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The Istanbul Puzzle Paperback – September 1, 2015


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (September 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847562884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847562883
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,798,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A Turkish delight for thriller fans.' Yorkshire Evening Post
'A superbly executed thriller.' Irish Examiner
'An impressive debut; well written, beautifully descriptive, and with a smart dialogue and a compelling air of menace throughout.' The Lancashire Evening Post 


•'This stylish conspiracy thriller is a Turkish delight…combines plenty of stirring action with fascinating historical detail about a city and a country [Laurence] quite obviously loves.' Irish Independent

• 'A brisk plot…which draws the reader into a conspiratorial rapport…He's come late to fiction, clearly he means to enjoy it.' Telegraph

Book Description

A brutal murder. An ancient temple. A long-lost treasure.


More About the Author

* Short listed for Irish Crime Novel of the Year.
* Top selling Irish crime author in many categories.
* #1 in Amazon charts twice, in two categories.

The Istanbul Puzzle is the first in a new series of mystery-thrillers. I visited Istanbul 6 times to research it. The next in the series, The Jerusalem Puzzle, is out too. It continues the story from The Istanbul Puzzle and features the same characters. The third in the series, The Manhattan Puzzle, arrived October 10, 2013.

My roots go back to a small estate deep in the Mountains of Mourne, near the Silent Valley, in County Down, Northern Ireland.

I went to school in Dublin, drank way too much, studied English and history, then business, then IT at Oxford University. While a student, I worked as a kitchen porter in a club near the Bank of England.

I have also published a guide to social media called, Social Media is Dynamite.

In 2007 I won the Outstanding Novel Submitted award at the Southern California writer's conference. I flew back to Ireland on cloud 999. It wasn't about the money. There wasn't any. It was about knowing I was on the right track.

My research has taken me all over the world, from San Francisco to deep in the Muslim world. I like looking at the stars and listening to the stories of strangers. I hope you enjoy my novels and my guide to social media.

Customer Reviews

Well I suspect he did know what was going on but the book just did not make it very clear at any time.
Tom Stronach
While not an historical novel, per se, the book is filled with great historical detail taking the reader from the Ottoman Empire to the present day.
Arletta Dawdy
From the first page, Istanbul Puzzle by Laurence O'Bryan captures the readers interest and then continues with a page-turning story to the end.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JSC on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I won a contest sponsored by authonomy.com to receive a proof copy of The Istanbul Puzzle, so this is a pre-publication review.

I won't go over the plot, which you can read in the book description, but I will tell you that this book does what a thriller is supposed to do--keep the reader on edge with every turn of the page.

The Istanbul Puzzle weaves elements together in a plot that is very believable in the current political/religious climate. What makes this book even more enjoyable is Laurence O'Bryan's knowledge of Istanbul, which is obvious in his descriptive passages of the city. O'Bryan evokes all the senses, and makes the reader feel as if he/she is right there. I like to learn something when reading a novel--even a thriller--and this book did not disappoint. I feel as if I've visited the city and the beautiful Hagia Sophia, the museum that had "once been the Islamic world's St. Peter's."

I'm eagerly anticipating O'Bryan's next novel in the series titled, The Jerusalem Puzzle. He also has a website where he posts puzzles related to the book. What fun!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Frank McGrath on January 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book reads like a film script - scene after scene rolls before the eyes. It's a pleasure to read, and every chapter hooks into the next. The story is simple: Sean Ryan goes to Istanbul to investigate the death of his friend Alek in an undergorund cavern, gets involved with Isabel, and faces increasing threats and risks. It's a plot straight out of Ian Fleming, but Sean is not James Bond - he's more of a HItchcock hero - think Cary Grant in North by North West - an ordinary man dealing with extraordinarily situations he finds himself in. There are some lovely Fleming-like descriptions (tour buses like "larvae") and the climax is nail-biting. Buy it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By GeoffJ on February 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great first book by this author, from the first page to the last page this book was the ultimate thriller. After reading the first chapter I was unable to put the book down until I had read the last page. It is easy reading and the descriptions of the temples of Instanbul are so vivid. I can not wait for the next book in the series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By cdawx on October 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The title for this review probably says it all. I understand that this is a first novel from Laurence O'Bryan and it's not the worst debut novel I ever read.
The story seems to echo a host of other recent books in the style of Da Vinci Code. This one doesn't reach the level of tension that I've felt reading other similar books. The story is OK; the writing is OK. On the plus side, the research and descriptions of the locations in the story are great.
I will probably try the next novel in the series but hope to see some improvement over this debut.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K.T. Turner on November 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Istanbul Puzzle was an okay read. At first. It kept the action novel pace well. However it was written with short sentences that sometimes felt awkward and abrupt and there was a lack of transitions. Sometimes things characters said or thought seemed out of place, as if they couldn't concentrate. However, the sights and sounds and smells of Istanbul has been beautifully researched and described, sometimes to the point of being overdone (do I really need to know what every inch of the highway looks like?). But I did learn a lot about the history of the city and there are many cultural tidbits throughout, which I love.

Some things bothered me though, preventing me from liking this book. For one thing, the guy is an American and no American will call a highway a motorway, or a shopping cart a trolley, or a road a carriageway, or a flashlight a torch. Given, he's been living in England for 12 years, but he just didn't seem like a very authentic American to me. It was constantly pointed out that he has an American accent, but I wasn't convinced.
Oh, and his father has a "Purple Star history." His father was in the US military and had seen a lot of combat...but what on earth is a "purple star"? I'm no expert but my family has a strong military background and I've heard everything about Bronze and Silver Stars and even my own brother has a Purple Heart, but I have never heard of a "Purple Star" before. Is it something (imaginary) like a "bronze heart"? Or is it an esteemed ladies crocheting club in Minnesota? Really, how hard is it to look up a list of US Military awards and decorations on Wikipedia if you are willing to fly to Istanbul 9 times to research?

Sorry if this prevents me from giving the author much credibility.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By HJKessler on December 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have read my other reviews, you might have noticed that I normally reserve 5 star ratings for what I consider to be "true classics," such as The Trinity from Leon Uris. So by giving The Istanbul Puzzle a 5 Star rating, am I saying that it is a classic? Clearly no but I would give this book 4 Stars and it is getting a one star bump because it far exceeds most debut novels on the debut novel grading curve (duh!) Mr. Laurence O'Bryan is really onto something here and, while not perfect, his story is not only far ahead of most debuts but is clearly written, fast paced and, most importantly, really fun to read.

I wont summarize in too much detail but here are some brief storylines. The book splits time (not evenly) between Turkey and Great Britain and primarily follows a character named Sean Ryan. Sean runs a company that is studying mosaics at the Hagia Sophia in Instanbul when his partner and friend is savagely murdered. Of course, in the same vain as many great heroic characters before him, Sean heads off to Turkey to try to discover what happened to his friend. He is welcomed there by a group of unknown enemies that would clearly like him dead and from there, the story spirals off into a wonderful action adventure thriller...think The DaVinci Code, only more believable.

The thing that makes this book such a great book is that Mr. O'Bryan has really taken the time to fill in his characters. Sean Ryan isn't some schmuck that, for no reason, goes running into harms way in Instanbul. Sean is someone that has suffered terrible loss and is still, in many ways, grieving. In some respects, I think that Mr. O'Bryan wanted to create the impression that his primary character had nothing to lose in living and, as such, was willing to do things that most of would never consider.
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