Today I am taking part in the blog tour for An Oriental Murder. While there is nothing unusual in me reading crime fiction, this book is set in Istanbul and is the first book I’ve set there or anywhere in Turkey. So, read on and find out what I thought….
Blurb: The Pera Palas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey plays host to the Agatha Christie Writers’ Congress when real life imitates fiction. The bodies of the Prime Minister and his occasional mistress are found dead in one of the hotel’s locked rooms surrounded by bodyguards. Seemingly, no one could get in or out, and yet…
Inspector Sinan Kaya is convinced that foreign agents are culpable, and that the murders are linked to the recent spate of killings of Turkish government officials.
Within this complicated, crime riddled city, Sinan Kaya’s moral compass never falters. Not concerned with threats of dismissal from the force, he cuts his own path through the investigation, determined to uncover the truth.
An Oriental Murder is a tale of espionage and murder set against the backdrop of beautiful Istanbul, the ancient city where east and west meet.
My Review: I have to admit that when I began this book I wasn’t too keen on it. Some of the initial characters I found quite irritating and had little patience for them. However, through them, like a quietly flowing stream came Inspector Sinan Kaya, and from then on the book improved hugely. Sinan is a character I would compare to M J Lee’s Inspector Danilov, quiet, methodical, focused on getting the job done, and with some unusual methods that mean few want to work with him. However, like Danilov, Sinan has someone who wants to work with him and recognises and tolerates his quirks because he understands that they make him a better Inspector rather than one to be avoided.
The pairing of Sinan and Sergeant Mehmet is a good one, almost at times like Morse and Lewis back in the day. One focused almost solely on the job and the other with a few other responsibilities to consider. I really enjoyed their pairing and the contrast between the characters. I also liked Sinan’s no-nonsense attitude, not uncaring just not interested in the superfluous details.
The city of Istanbul came alive as well, the descriptions were vivid and clear though there were a few times when I struggled to get a picture of where the characters were going but there were only a few of these which meant they didn’t detract too much from the story itself. There are a lot of threads going on in this story, many of which are political or politically linked in some way. However, these threads are handled in such a way that means they don’t get confusing or tangled, always a plus for a reader.
I really enjoy detective pairings that are a little unusual and this one is no different. I can only hope that this book is not a stand alone but the first of a series so that I can follow Sinan and see where his life takes him next.
About the author:
Jane is a storyteller, writer, traveller and educator. Having lived and worked for over thirty years in Turkey, Jane has amassed a breadth of experiences that have led to the writing of the Sinan Kaya series of novels. Of course all characters and events are fictitious!
Fluent in both English and Turkish, Jane writes in both languages and has had a range of articles published in Turkish periodicals and magazines alongside British newspapers.
Jane now divides her time between rainy Devon and sunny Turkey.
Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/JaneJanebastin