Monday, March 15, 2010

The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte

I have, for the most part, enjoyed every book I've read thus far by Arturo Perez-Reverte. That being said, I'm not sure I liked this one very much. I guess that I should have looked at it more carefully instead of buying it because of the author. This book is a mystery novel. I'm not a fan of classic mystery novels. The story leading up to the big confessions. Clues doled out and then the long monologue by the detective or guilty party. It's just not my thing.

Here's the premise: Julia restores artwork. She's working on a painting called The Game of Chess. There is a mystery about the people in the painting which transforms into a modern-day murder-mystery involving people she knows. Aided by her adopted father-figure Cesar and a chess player Munoz, Julia works to puzzle things out.

I liked the chess and the style of writing. Munoz was an interesting character, though I always felt that he could have been developed a little more. The chess game governing the direction of the mystery reminded me a little of Katherine Neville's books The Eight and it's sequel The Fire.

If you like mystery novels and can wrap your brain around chess moves, you'll love this book. It's a fairly quick read and definitely keeps you guessing.

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