Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Turkish Delight

Let me start by saying this is a jolly good read - and a great book to take on holiday to a Turkish beach, especially if you are off on a trip to Istanbul as part of your visit.

I read it within three days of starting it – I was quickly dragged into the story and the pace builds up to a nice ‘want to know’ ending.

If you are 'into' the Historical detective story, this is almost as good as it gets. Plenty of historically accurate detail – the sort of ‘everyday detail’ needed to spice up the story – food, clothing, buildings.

And the essential characters are there: The not quite accepted by anyone ‘detective’; the manipulative bad-guy; an exotic beautiful temptress; and a tart-with-a-heart with a difference (one of my favourite characters I have to say).

What this is is firmly ‘escapist’ – but with a slightly educational twist – I did get a sense of what Istanbul must have been like, and a sense of the origins of the modern Turkish dilemma between secularism and tradition. If at times the writing felt too worthy, it only lasted a short time and we were soon back chasing fire-raisers through the seedy streets.

This is not Orhan Pamuk – but it isn’t meant to be.

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