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The Janissary Tree: A Novel (Investigator Yashim) Hardcover – May 16, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Goodwin, the author of a well-received history of the Ottoman Empire, Lords of the Horizons (1999), makes a welcome shift to fiction with this impressive first of a new mystery series set in the empire's declining decades. In 1836, though the corrupt elite troops known as the Janissaries were crushed 10 years earlier, there are ominous signs that their influence still persists in the twisted alleys and secret places of Istanbul. A series of crimes, including the barbaric murders of several soldiers and the theft of some precious jewels, leads eunuch Yashim Togalu to delve into the past in an effort to separate legend from truth. With special access to all areas of the sultan's royal court, Yashim uses his network of contacts to try to solve the crimes. The author, no surprise, does an excellent job of evoking his chosen locale. While his sleuth's character may be less developed than some readers might wish, no doubt Yashim will emerge as a more rounded figure in future entries of what one hopes will be a long-running series. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Historian Goodwin, author of Lords of the Horizons (1999), introduces a promising new mystery series set in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. When a string of murders disturbs the tenuous tranquility of the sultan's royal court, savvy eunuch Yashim Togalu is called upon to investigate. Digging deeper into the past in order to understand the perils of the present, Yashim discovers a link between the crimes and the Janissaries, a disloyal band of elite soldiers banned by the sultan ten years earlier. As Yashim wends his way in and out of the opulent palace and through the sordid back alleys of nineteenth-century Istanbul, the reader is treated to an appropriately exotic tour of a time and a place where intrigue, deceit, and corruption fueled perilous personal and political passions. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The story itself would have been so much stronger had the author brought it to a close much sooner. While quite good, the ending was not powerful enough to justify all the scenic tours through the second half of the book.
There are only illusions of who is good and the twists make for wonderful tension, and unpredictable scenarios.
I have added the second installment of the series and will get back to you if the author has sustained his level of craftsmanship.
Most recent customer reviews
Thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing.
Jason Goodwin’s "The Janissary Tree" (a winner of the Edgar Award for best novel) gives us...Read more