Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Reader's Opinion: A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow

The Book:
(Blurb from Goodreads)

Felicity has decided to become a nun. She departs to visit convents in spite of her mother's imminent arrival and Fr. Anselm's request that she and Fr. Antony recover a missing priceless Russian icon before the Patriarch of Moscow arrives at the community for Holy Week.
Felicity's discernment journey takes her to Rempstone, Norwich, London, and Walsingham, but her discovery of afriend's murdered body in a shallow grave, the disappearance of more icons, the shooting of a London art expert just after she visits him, the disappearance of Antony, and finally the abduction of Felicity and her mother teach her far more about motherhood, life, and love than she could learn in any convent retreat. Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote water-logged landscapes, the wisdom of ancient holy women, and the arcane rites of The Knights of St. John of Malta keep the pages turning. And will Felicity choose the veil--or Antony?

A Reader’s Opinion:

Let me begin by saying that I found this book both, interesting and enjoyable – simply put, I liked it. Let me explain. I know nothing of Catholicism, very little of the Church of England, or to be honest, a majority of the religious references and history mentioned in this book. Before reading, I was aware that I would run into a lot of unfamiliar information and I believe that is what allowed me to enjoy the book as much as I did. There were times when I felt there was too much delving into the religious aspect, but I read those sections more like I was in a university class, so I found it interesting.
Antony was by far my favorite character. He’s kind, chivalrous and unassuming, but certainly not boring. His humble demeanor was balanced out with noticeable charm and I found myself smiling each and every time he winked or grinned at Felicity. Our heroine, Felicity was an enigma in the first third of the book. I couldn’t decide if I liked her or was just putting up with her. As the story progressed, Felicity proved to be a worthy heroine - a modern personality warring with the search for some higher purpose. She found her footing halfway through and began to show her strength and determination. Her personality seemed to shine through more as the story progressed and I became immersed in both the intellectual and romantic relationship between her and Antony.

Then there’s the murder and mystery – well plotted, well developed and not entirely predictable. I’ll admit that one of the culprits was a complete surprise to me. I had gone along thinking I knew everyone who did it and where I figured out most, I appreciated that the author could twist enough to keep me on my mental toes.
The amazing amount of research the author did for this book is apparent. In fact there were passages when I felt I was being taught – for some readers that may be a bother, so read the book knowing what you’re getting into. If I hadn’t known, I may not have enjoyed it as much. As it was, I finished the book in a few days because it held my attention and I was interested in the outcome. This is the second book of the Monastery Series and not having read the first yet, I can’t say how one flows into the next, but I would recommend this book to any intellectual reader who enjoys a good whodunit and learning something in the process.

Title: A Darkly Hidden Truth
Publisher: Monarch Books
Published: 1 December 2011
Format Read: Copy provided by author in exchange for review.

In accordance with FTC guidelines for bloggers and endorsements, I would like to clarify that the books reviewed on An Avid Reader's Haven are provided by the publisher/author free of charge. I am neither compensated for my reviews nor are my opinions influenced in any way by the avenues in which I obtain my materials.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much foryour thoughtful analysis, MK. I'm delighted that you liked Antony. I've been very pleased at how well many readers have responded to him because he isn't you'r average hero. I suppose in some ways he's like myhusband, so perhaps some of that comes through.

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  2. McClintock, couldn't have said it better myself. The first book is great, especially if you like the Anthony character. Thank you, D. F. Crow :)

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  3. I'll definitely be reading the first book and I also want to know what's going to happen next with the pair of them.

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  4. Thank you for asking, MK! Book 3 AN UNHOLY COMMUNION is written--just waiting to hear from my editor for publishing schedule! Fingers crossed that it won't be too long.

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