Book Review: The Boatman by Jonathan Holt

The Boatman by Jonathan Holt

A while back I was sent a copy of this book and to be honest at first I didn’t get into it at all. Crime fiction is normally one of my go to books but at the time I don’t think I was so much into it.

Recently it was rebranded as originally it was released at The Abomination, now it’s been named The Boatman.

This book is part one in The Carnivia Trilogy by Holt. The second part is called The Dancer and part three is The Traitor.

THE VICTIM: On the steps of Santa Maria della Salute lies the body of a woman, wearing the robes of a Catholic priest. In the eyes of the church she is an Abomination.

THE INVESTIGATOR: Captain Kat Tapo has matched the victim’s tattoo to graffiti in an abandoned asylum. Now she’s been ordered to close the case.

THE HACKER: Carnivia.com is a virtual Venice that holds all the city’s secrets. Only it’s reclusive creator can help Kat unearth the shocking truth.

THE ABOMINATION has arrived.

In the end I figured out that I started this book two years ago. That’s a long time to try and remember what happened way back at the beginning but actually even though I’m now around 13 chapters in, not that much seems to have happened. Maybe it’s me but it’s slow going. Lots of words and not so much plot if that’s possible.

There seems to be mixed responses on Goodreads with some people giving it high praise like “Dan Brown meets Stieg Larsson….but don’t let that put you off.”

Having finished it I can definitely see the resemblance to Dan Brown. There’s a lot of conspiracy theorist sort of ideas along the way often tangled in with the Catholic Church including the ordination of women priests, which I thought was a made up idea for the plot line but having been off and read a little bit it seems that there is a group who are ordained women priests, they have a different name now but the original group was the Danube Seven. However the Pope doesn’t seem to recognise their position and anyone who goes ahead and ordains women as priests is automatically excommunicated.

All in all it was okay but did seem to take a long time to introduce the characters and get the story moving however in the end it did move at a better pace. There were some bits in the story that I’m not sure were entirely necessary and the “epilogue” of sorts seemed to drag a bit. If you like Dan Brown I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

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