Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King


Description (from cover):

"Laurie R. King's 'New York Times' bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, comprise one of today's most acclaimed mystery series. Now, in their newest and most thrilling adventure, the couple is separated by a shocking circumstance in a perilous part of the world, each racing against time to prevent an explosive catastrophe that could clothe them both in shrouds.
 In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north. Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim--who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, who he's learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it's too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe. With the dazzling mix of period detail and contemporary pace that is her hallmark, Laurie R. King continues the stunningly suspenseful series that Lee Child called 'the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.'"
My Thoughts:

       I just finished reading this one and I am utterly confused. What happened to Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes in this one? I love this series, or let's just say I used to until this book came along. Mary Russell wakes up in a strange room in Morocco with her memory completely gone. She doesn't know who she is, where she is and why she is there, but wakes up with lots of injuries to her body including the head wound that created the current state of amnesia. I have no idea why Mary Russell suffers amnesia in this story or why King decided it was even necessary to the story. The amnesia that Russell suffers plays no important part of the story and could have been avoided completely. Another thing that drives me nuts about this book is why is it set in the Middle East yet again? This series had a setting based in England for the most part of the previous titles in the series, however the last two (including this one) have been in the Middle East. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy learning about different countries and cultures just as much as anyone else. I find the Middle East to be fascinating and a wealth of diverse cultures that differ so much from Western civilizations. However, what bothers me is that Laurie King is taking the series in a much different direction focusing more on international politics than that of the murders which Holmes and Russell join their collective detective skills to solve which made the series so popular in the first place. I miss the way the series was before and have to say if King continues the series in this way I will sadly no longer be a reader of this series. I do not recommend this book or its predecessor Pirate King but do highly recommend the previous 10 titles in the series. Maybe this is a case of the series going bad? I hope not, but the series future is starting to look grim.

Overall Rating: 2/5

Title: Garment of Shadows
Author: Laurie R. King
Series: Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Mystery #12
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: September 4, 2012 
Pages: 288
Genre: Historical Mystery

 Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind.  All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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