A few careless minutes, and the boy was gone.Violet shadows stretched from the rocks, clock hands over the sand. She shouldn't have allowed herself to linger, but the sea and sky had merged into a shimmering mirror of copper and red it was hard to tell if she was floating above the water, or standing on air. Waves beat time on the shore then reached out to caress her feet.Chapter One:
I met Nathan Emberlin in Faro, southern Portugal, in August 2014,Page 56:
At first, I thought he was just another adventurous young man, engaging but slightly immature. His beautiful sculpted face held a hint of vulnerability, but that ready smile and exuberant cheekiness eased his way, as did the radiant generosity of his spirit, so that it wasn't only women who smiled back, people of all ages warmed to Nathan, even the cross old man who guarded the stork's nest on the lamppost outside the tobacconist's shop.
"....He told me to meet him at the small chapel at the Largo do Carmo at seven o'clock today. He didn't say it was full of flaming bones - not sure I appreciate his sense of humour."Themes: Portuguese history, politics and corruption, the kidnapping of a child, descriptions of the people and place.
Comments: The author is clearly captivated by Portugal, its differences and closeness to North Africa (the red sands from the Sahara drift over the Portuguese town from time to time), its people, weaving its story of the past into the present.
The novel is clearly the product of a lot of research and I learned things about Portugal that surprised me. In terms of the book's characters, most of the book is written in a journalistic style, as the narrator is Joanna Millard, a journalist in search of a story. Though this style makes the story somewhat cut and dry at times, the novel has definite historical merits.
My objective rating: 4/5