The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

Book description:

An Ancient Island Holds an Ancient Secret . . .

Nick Hennessy, 
a young Texas journalist yearning for his big break, finds himself in Europe–his assignment, to investigate the alarming disappearance of invaluable Grecian antiquities. Nick has the credentials–and cover ID–to unearth the truth. And he knows just the researcher to help him…

Carey Mathers, fresh from her studies in forensic archeology, has accepted a job with the prestigious Athens Institute for Antiquities–a dream come true, really, particularly when the Greek isle of Patmos, where the Apostle John received his vision of the Apocalypse, was a particular focus of her research.

Dimitri Rubinos, for whom the Greek islands represent his life, holds on by his fingernails to the family charter boat business. But his country’s economic chaos isn’t the only thing that has turned his world on its head…

My review:

I have read other books by Bunn and enjoyed them very much and one of my friends is a huge Bunn fan.  I thought I would enjoy this book a lot more than I did.

The beginning of it is pretty slow, which I’m ok with.  Sometimes it takes awhile for a book to get to the “hook” where readers just can’t put it down.  Finally, around page 100, my interest was piqued and I started to feel like I was at the point where I would be carving out time the rest of the day to finish the book.

Sadly, the momentum did not continue.  I finished the book, but it was with the thought that I really didn’t care if Carey and Nick figured out the mystery or not.  I had more interest in what would happen with Dimitri.  I thought a lot about why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would and the answer lies in the characters, namely Carey.   Each character generated some interest in me, but it wasn’t sustained.  The character of Carey was a little paradoxical – she was an orphan, who traveled halfway around the world only to discover that the place that hired her was now closed down due to the economic collapse of Greece, but she meets a friendly Greek family who instantly become her best friends.  Yet she is portrayed as emotionally detached due to a betrayal by her college sweetheart.  For me, it just didn’t add up.  The character of Nick equally lacked integrity for me.  I was never clear on what caused him to be so callous and distant.

Despite my criticism of the characters, I did enjoy parts of this book.  Bunn did an excellent job in bringing the headlines of the economic collapse in Greece to life for me.  I feel like I really got an understanding of the cost to the people of Greece.  I always enjoy books that help me to understand something that I’ve read or heard about elsewhere a little bit better.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to make the book a winner for me.

If you are a die-hard fan of Davis, you might enjoy this book.  If you are looking for a Davis Bunn book to read for the first time, I would probably recommend that you start with one of his others.  This one wasn’t my favorite.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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