Friday, July 22, 2016

Death Follows a Remarkable Archaeological Discovery

Dr Anlon Cully, a wealthy scientist, is enjoying a relaxing evening at his home near Lake Tahoe with his friend Pebbles, the bartender at a local restaurant. He tells her about a call he received from Matthew Dobson, his uncle Devlin's archaeological research partner. Devlin is dead after suffering a fall when climbing a mountain in New Hampshire.

Anlon is the heir and Dobson wants him to come East immediately to sort out Devlin's affairs. Although he'd rather stay in his comfortable Tahoe residence, Anlon agrees to go and invites Pebbles to go with him. Not only has Anlon inherited his uncle's house and it's contents, he also finds that he has been left several stones that appear to have unusual powers. When Dobson, too, is murdered, finding out what the stones mean becomes critical.

Mysteries with an archaeological background fascinate me. This book has a good plot with just enough real mythology to make it seem real. The settings in Tahoe and New Hampshire are authentic and add a layer of believability to the story.

However, the characters are poorly developed. Anlon Cully is a famous scientist. As such you would expect him to be able to figure out much of the background surrounding the stones. However, Anlon stands back in amazement as Pebbles takes the lead in unraveling the mystery. I found this unrealistic.

The dialog is often used to provide an information dump rather than conversation. In some cases this is justified when retelling the background myths surrounding the stones, but the author doesn't restrict the information dump to those occasions which makes many of the interactions seem too formal.

If you enjoy an archaeological mystery, this one has an interesting underlying story. However, the action often plods and the characters sometimes detract from the reality of the situation. There is a twist at the end, but it's fairly easy to see it coming so the ending is something of a let down.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.