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Holt, Jonathan - 'The Abomination'
Paperback: 400 pages (Nov. 2013) Publisher: Head of Zeus ISBN: 178185369X

This fantastic book is the debut novel for Jonathan Holt and, delightfully, the first in his Carnivia trilogy. I am so pleased that there is more to come, as this book is wonderful. Holt is another new author that we can expect to see producing great things. He is definitely a name to watch out for closely.

The plot of ABOMINATION had me hooked right from the start. Set in modern-day Venice, a body is washed up on some steps by the tide and foul play is suspected, as it is clear that the body has been shot. Shockingly, the general population is more disturbed by the fact that the body is a woman in priest's clothing than by the fact she has been murdered. She is an abomination, hence the book title, in this Catholic society. Captain Kat Tapo, from the Italian police, is determined to find the solution to this crime, despite the fact that others would rather say it was the result of a lesbian tiff and brush it under the carpet. The evidence trail soon leads her into the murky, fearful underworld of Venice's female illegal immigrants that have been forced into prostitution, but people are afraid to talk and she feels as if she is getting nowhere. Finally, in desperation, she joins forces in an unlikely alliance with an American army lieutenant, Holly Boland, and a computer nerd, Daniele Barbo, creator of the infamous social networking site Carnivia. Together the three of them discover the truth and why it is being suppressed from the very top.

The book is very well-written and follows a number of delightful twists and turns. It deals extremely well with the sensitive issue of violence against women and kept me guessing right to the end. Only one small detail disappointed me a little - that being the predictable affair between Kat and her boss. But, the outcome of the affair was not at all expected and the ending fitted superbly with the tone of the rest of the book. I can't wait for the next instalment in this trilogy and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Jonathan Holt.

Very highly recommended.

Read another review of THE ABOMINATION.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
April 2014

Amanda blogs at Old Dogs and New Tricks.

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 25/04/2014 15:12