Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #60: Cathedral of Lies by John Pye

Set in the 1980s, this book opens with a defendant on trial for drug running taking a barrister hostage and escaping from the courtroom; shortly after a dead body apparently belonging to the barrister is found in a car charred beyond recognition and a connection is made with another dead body found out on the moors.

This is just the beginning of an increasingly complex mystery that is investigated by the novels' two lead characters, Kim and Taylor, who soon find themselves having to flee to the continent after being framed for murder where they discover suspicious activities in a Belgian cathedral and evidence of police corruption.

I remember having mixed feelings for this story at first; there was some enjoyable sexual tension between the male and female leads of the book, but it seemed to turn into romance so quickly it felt as though it were forced and unnatural; they end up having sex about a third of the way into the book. Strangely, after this moment, the whole romantic subplot is completely forgotten about and the book does not make any more of it. Thankfully, both characters were easy to care about, so I wanted to see what happened.

The book is certainly thrilling, and there is no shortage of exciting action sequences; without giving too much away though, the climactic scene owes a large debt to Raiders of the Lost Ark. As for the main plot, it was difficult to see what many of the plot elements tied together until some of the unexpected revelations in the second half; this seemed reasonable as it keeps the reader guessing, and there is a particularly surprising twist towards the end that you're unlikely to see coming.

Overall, I wasn't sure about this book at first but by the time I reached the end I was very pleased I'd taken the trouble to read it.

Next book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
Tags: book review, british, conspiracy fiction, crime fiction, drama, fiction, modern lit, murder mystery, mystery, period fiction (20th century), thriller

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