Friday, 30 December 2016

The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

Book Review

The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

"Perhaps this story is like one of those Russian dolls, each of them hiding a different one inside."

The Book of Mirrors will be released on 26th January 2017. It is written by E.O. Chirovici and published by Random House UK, Cornerstone.

Here's another highly anticipated book release for January 2017; The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici. The book is written by Romanian author Chirovici who has published several novels in his home country but is now trying his luck in the English speaking market. It would appear his luck has held as The Book of Mirrors has been sold to over 30 territories around the world and is already getting a lot of hype. However, while it's a fair thriller and an interesting look at memory, I don't think The Book of Mirrors quite lives up to the hype it's creating.



When big-shot literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued.

The author, Richard Flynn, is writing a memoir about his time at Princeton in the late '80s, documenting his relationship with the famous Professor Joseph Wieder.

One night in 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved.

Peter Katz is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of what happened that night twenty-five years ago and is convinced the full manuscript will reveal who committed the violent crime.

But other people's recollections are dangerous weapons to play with, and this might be one memory  that is best kept buried.

While The Book of Mirrors is a 'who-dunnit,' its main focus is on memory and how recollections can be unreliable. It's an interesting concept and one that really made me think about how I remembered events.
However, a lot of the people involved are just plain lying, so it's not so much unreliable memory as people telling great big fibs to save their skins.

The story is told in three different sections from three different points of view. I liked this as it showed how different people recollect events, and it's a good way of revealing information.

Though it's a book with a lot of shocks, it's written in a very matter of fact way, letting the action and revelations dictate the drama instead of trying to emphasise it with language.

It's interspersed with some lovey descriptions, especially of people.

"He was tall and skinny, with the look of an actor who's cast in supporting roles, the kind of ageing cop who unostentatiously backs up the alpha hero against the bad guys."

At times though while reading, a word or sentence jarred, I think because Chirovici is not writing in his native language. This is a little clunky and sometimes holds up the otherwise well-written narration.

The book takes a while to get going and I was a little bored for most of the first quarter, however it did eventually hook me in and keep me guessing until the end. But I felt that there were a lot of questions left unanswered. I still don't feel like I've seen the murder of Joseph Wieder clearly, but distorted by others' views and recollections. I suppose that is the point of the book, so Chirovici achieved what he set out to do, but personally I like my murders to be neatly tied up.

The Book of Mirrors was a good read and a new take on murder and memory, but I felt it lacked that something that makes a book unputdownable.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars (rounded up to 4 for Goodreads)

I received an ARC of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

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