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The Gaudi Key - Esteban Martin

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Esteban Martin, Andreu Carranza / Paperback / 496 Pages / Book is published 2008-10-20 by Harper

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      02.07.2009 11:38
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      A translation of a Spanish novel

      With the Grand Master of a Secret brother hood nearing death and starting to lose his memory he decides to pass the legacy on to his granddaughter. Once the apprentice to Barcelona's most famous son the Master passes on the clues his granddaughter needs to solve to save her own life. She needs to act fast as she has very little time, but it's not only her own life she has to safe but she also has to find the holy object hidden by the Secret Brother hood. With the help of her boyfriend she has to find the location and quickly, before too many people die.

      As anyone whose read my travel reviews will know, I am absolutely obsessed with Barcelona and Antonio Gaudi. So when I saw this book in a supermarket I felt it was one I had to read. Set around the majestic City of Barcelona this was obviously a book I thought I would enjoy. It even seemed to give a bit of insight into Gaudi's work, which again was a very appealing aspect. Unfortunately that's about the only good points of the whole book.

      The story is a translation of a novel originally written in Spanish by Andreu Carranaza and Esteban Martin. The story seems to lose something in translation and at times there are sentences and paragraphs that don't particularly make sense. While the insight into Gaudi seemed like an appealing feature of the book they seem to have gone a little over the top with it in places and the plot gets really bogged down by it. The result is entire chapters on Gaudi and his work and it's hard to really associate what the characters are discussing to what they are actually looking for.

      I would have to say though that the biggest problem with the book and the story itself would have to be the characters. You never really find yourself as the reader being too connected to the characters. This leads to you not really caring whether they manage to achieve their goal or not. In particular the lead character Maria is so uninteresting that you find yourself kind of hoping that she fails and the "bad guys" of the story manage to succeed. In fact I think there is more back story and characterisation of her Granddad, who dies quite early on, than there is for her.

      There are far too many inconsistencies in the plot, the story and the characters to make this an even mildly enjoyable read. At 496 pages long it's had far too much unnecessary padding that just makes it more of a chore to actually read. I managed to struggle to the end, if only in the hope that it actually got better but the further I read the more aspects from earlier in the book seemed to have been forgotten in the latter story.

      Overall I have to say that I was very disappointed with this book. I think this was more a case of judging a book by its cover. I had hoped that with the Gaudi and Barcelona association that this would be an enjoyable read but it really wasn't. Perhaps if the translation and continuity had been a little better it might have worked slightly better, but with dull characters and a flawed story this just doesn't work at all. My advice would be to avoid this and don't be drawn in like I was because of the cover and content.

      Amazon: £3.77
      Amazon Marketplace: £0.01
      ISBN: 978-0007281633

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