08 August, 2013

The bookman's tale : a novel of obsession By Charlie Lovett [Jan, East Coast Bays Library]

This is a story about Peter who has two loves - rare books and Amanda. Returning to his work as an antiquarian bookseller he discovers a portrait - the sitter looks just like his Amanda, but as it’s a very old portrait it can’t be. Our unlikely and very shy hero is out to do two things - to discover who’s in the portrait, and also to prove that the works of Shakespeare were written by Shakespeare.

This well-written story has everything I look for in a book – suspense, mystery, murder, danger, a love story or two, a little bit of a ghost story, incredible coincidences, antiquarian booksellers and book collectors, fabulous old books and documents, and master forgers. Add to that a harking back to what happened in the past that bears on what’s happening now, and the perennial debate about whether William Shakespeare wrote the plays - and the result kept me turning the pages long after I should have gone to bed!

The storyline had a tendency to be a bit predictable at times, and the coincidences were really just too amazing to be believable, but I loved it anyway. I especially liked the way the tension would be built up in each chapter, then in the next you’d be back or forward in time to a different strand of the tale, and you’d have to wait … to find out what happened next.

Author: Lovett, Charles C.
IBSN: 9780670026470
Published: 2013
Publisher: New York: Viking

-Jan, East Coast Bays Library

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