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The Istanbul Puzzle Paperback – January 19, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Puzzle Series

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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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847562884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847562883
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,231,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read many different genres, and depending on my mood, I read for different reasons—sometimes for comforting relaxation, sometimes to learn and sometimes to enjoy a gripping thriller.

The Istanbul Puzzle was neither comforting nor relaxing. It was a gripping thriller, but I also learned a lot about ancient history and the city of Istanbul. I was so enthralled with the history and the description of the city, that I would go on line to check out places that were mentioned—some I found, some I did not—and the author explained that in his “tour guide” at the end of the book. I want to say Thank you to Laurence O’Bryan for putting that in.

The story line was riveting. As I read, it struck me that sometimes when I read a novel the words are just ordinary script on my Kindle, but to me The Istanbul Puzzle almost seemed to appear in bold letters! I was totally captured by the novel.

The book opens with a horrific murder scene. Later we learn that the victim was Alex Zegliwski, who was Sean Ryan’s best friend and co-worker. Sean is shocked by the savagery and determined to find out why his colleague was murdered and who was responsible. His quest leads him on a perilous journey.

This book could have been written in 2015—it deals with many of our modern day issues; the threat of Middle Eastern radicalism overtaking Europe, the struggle of good and evil, even the possible spectre of germ warfare on a large scale.

O’Bryan’s writing is full of texture—you see, feel and smell as he describes the scenes. I felt the crush of the crowds in Istanbul, and again in London when the Muslim masses gathered.
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