Syria or bust?
|The Monastery in the mountains above Petra|
This book was a real treat for me mainly because I've been to Jordan and visited many of the historical sites (Petra, Gerasa (modern day Jerash)) mentioned here. So it was wonderful to read about them as they would have been in their prime (in the case of Gerasa just before its prime, as it was in the process of being built during Falco's visit). Davis is great at conjuring up atmosphere, and the sights, smells and sounds of the Near East leap off the page.
As an historical novel it's great fun, and educational too. As a crime novel it's not Davis' best. It's fairly obvious from very early on who committed the crime, and Falco doesn't seem to be at his sharpest. But in terms of readibility and humour it's great fun. Not the best novel I think to read if you've never read any Falco before, but definitely one for the fans, or for anyone who enjoys reading about ancient civilisations.