Saturday, August 1, 2009


Pages: 307
Date: 01/08/2009
Grade: 4-
Details: no. 2 Mara Coyne Mystery

Mara Coyne is an attorney who has established a company that specializes in recovering stolen works of art and returning them to their rightful owners. She is hired by Richard Tobias, a powerful man in Republican political circles, to recover an ancient Chinese map of the world which has been stolen from an archaeological dig Tobias is sponsoring in China.
As Mara travels to China to start her investigation it becomes clear from early on that she has not been given full information. Mara will travel from China to Italy and Portugal hunting for the map and uncovering it's century old secrets.
Two separate, yet connected, story lines weave through this book as we follow two young map makers, one from china and one from Portugal, on their sea voyages around the world in the 15th century, providing an explanation as to the origin of the map.
This was a very interesting read, and a plausible enough story to make me think: "what if..."
But, as well as this book works on a historical level, I was left disappointed by the lack of character development. Non of the characters in this book became real for me. They always stayed paper thin, leaving me rather indifferent as to their fate.
Still, I enjoyed this read enough to want to read the next one when it comes out in March next year. Especially because that book will deal with Ireland and The Book of Kells.
It is funny though how this is the second book I read in recent weeks dealing with early sea voyages and China, as well as the second mystery involving old maps. I've commented on it before, but I can't help noticing how the subject matters of my book seem to be attracting each other without any planning on my part.

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