I always enjoy Davis Bunn’s international “thrillers” (in quotes because they’re not intense or suspenseful enough to be thrillers, but that’s the closest genre description I can think of. Perhaps international, religious intrigue is more accurate. ) I believe one of Bunn’s greatest giftings as an author is his ability to really create a sense of place, drawing the reader into the story not so much because she connects with the characters or the plot but because she is able to imagine herself in the setting. The food, the smells, the sights- Bunn takes you there. In the Patmos Deception you will vicariously travel to Greece and become truly hungry for Greek food and you’ll probably begin longing for an extended vacation there – I know I did. Compared to other recent books by Bunn (The Lion of Babylon series in particular) this book develops the characters a lot better and gives you a far greater sense of connection to them. You can actually visualize them and care about them to the extent that anyone cares about fictional characters.
As for the plot, it was interesting, but it was a bit convoluted, twisting here and there without building a great sense of momentum. As the characters work to uncover an international smuggling ring involving Greek antiquities they spend plenty of time building friendships, eating really, really good food and boating. They also exchange incidental lessons in Greek history and modern-day economical hardships. Personally, I enjoyed all of that, I’m merely commenting on it because I think it did contribute to the sense that the story meanders a bit. Finally, the Patmos Deception does contain a cliffhanger, and not one I expected since its about relationships as opposed to international intrigue, but it did produce the desired effect – I’ll be on the lookout for the next book in this series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.