Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Review : The Devlin Diary By Christi Phillips

Synopsis: London, 1672. A vicious killer stalks the court of Charles II, inscribing his victims' bodies with mysterious markings. Are the murders the random acts of a madman? Or the consequences of a deeply hidden conspiracy? Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Clari Donovan's dream come true-until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor's unsolved murder is the seventeenth-century diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the kings mistress. Through the arcane collections of cambridge's most eminent libraries, Claire and historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Devlin left behind, uncovering the secrets of London's dark past and Cambridge's equally murky present, and discovering that events of three hundred years ago may still have consequences today....

I have to begin by saying that I'm horrible at writing reviews and it frustrates me so much, especially for a book that i thoroughly enjoyed! I start writing , delete it, write again, delete it again.....

I really enjoyed reading this. The author is very descriptive, for example, she describes the Wren Library which after reading the page i wished so much i could go there - "Massive dark oak bookcases arranged in thirteen bays lined the long walls of the large, rectangular space. Above the bookcases, a procession of tall, arched windows rose up to the thirty-seven foot coffered ceiling. In the wide center isle, black and white marble tiles set in a diamond pattern led the eye to the southern end, where a white marble statue of alumnus Lord Byron posted poetically below a stained- glass window." I could vividly visualize Claire marveling at the site.
The story has 2 parallel's - London , 1672 a serial killer is on the loose. The victims are stabbed with unusual carvings on the body and fingers are cut off. Hannah Devlin, along with Dr Strathern are on a mission to find the killer.
In modern day, Claire Donovan is just starting her new job as a lecturer at Trinity College when one of the prestige fellows Derek Goodman, is found dead at the side of the River Cam. When Claire finds out that Derek Goodman was writing a book on the same subject she is writing her dissertation, she is shocked. Claire needs to find the diary Derek took and when her and Andrew Kent find it, they come across some interesting information about Hannah Devlin and the murders. Did the murders in 1672 have something to do with Goodmans death?
The author did a lot of research for this book, research about King Charles and the treaty between England and France and his secrets! I don't usually read historical novels but this one had a twist and it was very interesting. I highly recommend it!

Best regards,

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