Friday, January 29, 2016

The Bone Church by Victoria Dougherty
Click on the pic to buy from Amazon

Book blurb

In the surreal and paranoid underworld of wartime Prague, fugitive lovers Felix Andel and Magdalena Ruza make some dubious alliances – with a mysterious Roman Catholic cardinal, a reckless sculptor intent on making a big political statement, and a gypsy with a risky sex life. As one by one their chances for fleeing the country collapse, the two join a plot to assassinate Hitler’s nefarious Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Josef Goebbels.

But the assassination attempt goes wildly wrong, propelling the lovers in separate directions. Felix’s destiny is sealed at the Bone Church, a mystical pilgrimage site on the outskirts of Prague, while Magdalena is thrust even deeper into the bowels of a city that betrayed her and a homeland soon to be swallowed by the Soviets. As they emerge from the shadowy fog of World War II, and stagger into the foul haze of the Cold War, Felix and Magdalena must confront the past, and a dangerous, uncertain future.

About the Author

in Chicago, The United States



Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Daniel Silva, Alan Furst, etc   

Victoria Dougherty has for nearly twenty years distinguished herself as a master storyteller, writing fiction, drama, speeches, essays, and television news segments/video scripts.

In Prague, Ms. Dougherty co-founded the acclaimed Black Box Theater, translating, producing and acting to sold-out audiences in several Czech plays – from Vaclav Havel’s riveting “Protest” to the unintentionally hilarious communist propaganda play “Karhan’s Men.” Black Box Theater was profiled in feature articles in USA Today, International Herald Tribune, and numerous European publications.

Currently, Ms. Dougherty lives with her family in Charlottesville, VA, and has recently completed a series of thematically linked Cold War spy thrillers. She is represented by Josh Getzler of Hannigan Salky & Getzler

My review

I am between a rock and a hard place here.  Part of me want's to give this book a 5* rating.  It is absolutely worth the read. But it is dark.  Taxing and it will not be for everyone.  For one thing.  The book deals with mainly two characters living and dying in Prague under Nazi rule.  So for one thing, this is not an easy subject matter.

For another, the author did a brilliant job in giving this book that Eastern European flavour.  I loved this but I think some might find this too far out of their comfort zone.  Lets hope I am wrong.
Nobody will ever describe this book as a fast, easy read.  There is no full in this.  It is a good book but not a fluffy feel good one sitting read.

Which means.  If you like historical fiction.  Likes to be challenged and likes to move out of your comfort zone, chances are you will love this book.  If not, I would advise you handle with care.
Why my rating? Rather simple really.  I could not read this book in one go.  The dark setting, plot, undertone everything got me to need to put it aside at times.  My 5* ratings is reserved for those books I cannot bare to put aside.  And in this is my conundrum.  I know I could not get the story out of my head but I also could not stick with it for more than an hour at a time.  So honestly the book should get 4.5 stars but Ill stick to my 4 stars. 


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