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Dean, A M - 'The Lost Library'
Paperback: 400 pages (Aug. 2012) Publisher: Pan ISBN: 1447209516

THE LOST LIBRARY is the first book to be penned by A M Dean and it is clearly brimming over with facts and potential. The author, an academic authority on ancient cultures and also a practicing monastic priest, is full of knowledge on the subject and has clearly done his research to present a thorough history of the lost library of Alexandria, as well as build a compelling and fascinating story that makes suggestions for the library's current whereabouts. However, as good as this aspect of the book is, the part that deals with the characters and their development is somewhat lacking and rather disappointing. Some of the dialogue, for example, seems too contrived or stilted and the relationships between people don't have the depth to them that I might have liked. Having said that, the potential here for something truly great from this author is significant and I will certainly be following him with interest.

In brief, brand new history professor Emily Wess is still pretty much feeling her feet in the post-student world of academia. She loves her subject and has built a name for herself, then one morning everything changes. She goes into work, in her department in the Carleton College campus in Minnesota, as usual, only to discover that her eminent colleague, Arno Holmstrand, has been shot dead. Numb from shock, she retreats to her office and finds a hand written note from Arno in with her mail. It tells her that the lost Library of Alexandria one of their shared interests - was never lost at all, and neither was the Society that protects it. Much to Emily's surprise, Arno has booked her onto a flight to Oxford and, post death, he sends her off on a clue-solving tour to find the Library for herself. Emily is challenged beyond her wildest dreams by what she discovers, all the more so when she considers the fact that Arno was probably murdered for the very information she is striving to find out.

Running parallel with this story is another, much darker, one. This thread concerns the 'bad guys' that have executed Arno and want the information about the library so badly that they will stop at nothing to get it. This group, the Council, and their leader, the Secretary, have gained increasing power in the US government over the years and now seek to overthrow the president, as well as get hold of the Library of Alexandria for their own selfish purposes.

The only thing stopping them seems to be Emily Wess!

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
November 2012

Amanda blogs at
Old Dogs and New Tricks.

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

last updated 3/11/2012 09:14