Thursday, October 2, 2014

Meticulous Research, Almost too much

An Officer and a Spy
By Robert Harris

Yes, yes, it's Robert Harris again. This author has just equaled RL Stine, Jhumpa Lahiri and KA Applegate in terms of the proportion of their books that I've read (Enid Blyton still beats them all though). And An Officer and a Spy was particularly savory because it was so hard to get hold of! Once again, Harris presents his masterly control of historical facts, taking it to another level by using characters who actually did exist in the twilight of the nineteenth century.

The problem - and this has been a recurring issue in Harris' works - is that the novel was so thorough in its research that it was a little too academic. It was not boring - quite the opposite, for a courtroom battle is always riveting - but it is quite confusing. It would've greatly helped had the author used his poetic freedom and simply cut some characters out - a dramatis personae does not really help all that much.

And with that, I am left with just Imperium and this will be another series, completed. 

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