Hey book lovers! It’s my stop during the blog tour for The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond, organized by Emma @ damppebbles blog tours . Many thanks to Emma for tour invite and to author for providing the review copy of the book.
Publication Date: June 30th 2018
Publisher: Parthian Books
Read Date: October 15th 2018
Genre: Literary Fiction / Mystery / Thriller
Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…
Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…
The Golden Orphans offers a new twist on the literary thriller.
The Golden Orphans was literary mystery fiction that revolved around main character- a nameless British artist and how he got involve in mysterious dark secret when he attended funeral of his mentor and father figure successful artist, Francis Benthem. The book was about life crisis, secrets, finding the lost one, art and philosophy, and self-development.
From the blurb I guessed this was going to be more than the usual mystery thriller and I was right about it. Writing was beautiful, engaging, and impressive. Initially, I didn’t know where the story was going. First two chapters were enough to ring the alarm bell. I had lot of questions in very few pages. Book was written from main character‘s perspective.
I liked the way main character maintained the balance of his need for money, respect and morals. What made him different and likable was his conscience, he was true to himself. His development was brilliant, loved the way he found his passion and art back and how he tried to do better for himself and for other characters. As we go along in the book we know more about Francis Benthem, who was the turning point in main character’s life and how important he was in story without existing. Francis Benthem’s former employer- Mr Prostakov was quirky, crazy, and mysterious.
It was fun to solve the mystery of Mr Prostakov, why he needed artist to solve the mystery of his unusual dreams, suspicious guests at his house and weird behavior of all the characters. I loved how author portrayed characters’ life crisis, the picturesque geographical descriptions of Cyprus, its culture and dark history along with a philosophical view. What made the plot more interesting was the story and revelation behind the title ‘The Golden Orphans’. All of these was interwoven in such complex and beautiful structure that kept me guessing till the end.
Plot twist was great. I like the way climax was written. Too many things happened in last 30% of the book. My small complain was regarding the end. It felt bit rushed and predictable.
Overall, it was short, unique, intriguing and suspenseful book. I highly recommend it to readers who love mix of suspense and literary fiction.
Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is the presenter of BBC Radio Wales’, The Review Show, and is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review. He is the author of two novels, The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018) and For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015). He is a widely published critic and cultural commentator.
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book as part of blog tour, in exchange for an honest review. ***
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