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MURDER AT ABU SIMBEL: A MYSTERY OF ANCIENT SECRETS Kindle Edition
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I can safely say that, “I was not thrilled!” On the cover of Murder of Abu Simbel by Alain Feld, it says the book is a ‘hypo-thriller.’ Having no idea what that meant, it was absolutely intriguing. Come to find out, a hypo-thriller is centered around the idea of hypnosis. But isn’t it interesting that only one character is a hypnotist and only one character is being hypnotized. Yes, the hypnosis is a central plot point to the story, but it is by no means a thriller.
There are points of the book, that the language is flowery and full of intricate descriptions, while there are other points, that seem extremely important to the story that are brushed over. So many pages are spent on the love affairs of characters. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading the characters’ backstories and relationship stories, it’s just that I was waiting for the book to be thrilling and to read about a mystery.
Perhaps there are ideas or emotions that are lost in the translation to English, but I am still left with so many unanswered questions. The main question of the book, who killed (I won’t tell you because…spoiler) is answered by the end, but so many pieces of the plot are left completely ambiguous. Such as, what time period does this book take place? The characters seem to have modern day technological equipment, but the implausibility of a woman traveling around Egypt on her own without a cellphone doesn’t make sense. Of course, without this, she wouldn’t have to undergo hypnosis for her amnesia. It is also amazing how much money this woman has when she has been found without a wallet…who is funding her adventures at the hotel, meals, swimsuit purchases, hypnotist sessions, and pool time?
By page 123 (there were 279 pages in my copy) I finally felt like we had started into the meat of the story and the plot was thickening. However, it was still so very slow moving. From reading the back cover of the book, I was anticipating a thrilling murder mystery, that unfortunately I never received. Side note: it was painfully obvious who the murderer was throughout the book. The importance of the setting did not render itself until the very final pages when we understood why we were in Egypt in the first place. The disconnect to the setting could have allowed the story to take place absolutely anywhere with a few minor changes.
Overall, my disappointment in this book was consistent throughout and did not leave me with the feeling that I helped solve a thrilling murder. There were chapters I had to absolutely force myself through, but with the lack of detail needed to remember details surrounding the characters and the crime, it made for a great multi-tasking book! I could comfortably listen to music and read at the same time!
Maybe reading the book in the original French would be more enlightening.
It is a book with many layers which are not revealed straight away.It is romantic, humorist, historic, psychological, human, sexual, geopolitical, anthropological and didactic.
The scene is, at first sight ,in a location of dreams ,Egypt, and that is why so many Westerners go there with all their fantasies but rarely with interest for the reality of the place. It is a place where colonialism survives and where the attitudes of tourists still have an impact on the place and the people.
The sun is burning out the people and their secrets are also consuming them. The hypnosis or hypnotherapy needed by the hero is described in details and has helped me to be reassured that in good qualified hands, it is a valid tool to help people in search of themselves and in that sense it is a didactic book.
The characters are well chosen, Kitty, the photographer is the hero, it is not by chance that she is a fashion photographer.
The mystery remains complete until the end and for that reason this novel is worth an approval from Agatha Christie. Agatha liked to give a psychological dimension to her characters but here the author knows well what he is describing because psychology is his profession.
It is also a book for feminists and the compassion and tenderness of the author for his characters are so moving that tears came often into my eyes while the end of the book was approaching so much so that I did not want to finish it.
Who has killed who in this novel is less obvious than we are lead to think and for that reason this is a great book. Enjoying a read as well as learning, that is the perfect formula for a book.
I can easily see it as a feature film in the future.