Review: The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

 

mirrors

One man’s truth is another man’s lie

About the Book

Publisher’s description: When literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued.   The author, Richard Flynn is writing a memoir about his time at Princeton in the late 80s, documenting his relationship with the famous Professor Joseph Wieder. One night in 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved. But other people’s recollections are dangerous weapons to play with and this might be one memory that is best kept buried.

My Review

In his note, the author states “I’ve always thought that after three hundred pages readers should get something more than just finding out who killed Tom, Dick or Harry, no matter how sophisticated and surprising the twists might have been.” Although the premise of the book – an unfinished manuscript containing an account of an unsolved murder – is intriguing, I’m afraid the book didn’t live up to initial expectations for me. The use of three different narrators and the way in which each witness’s account of the murder and the events leading up to it differed, either because of lapses of memory or deliberate deceit was interesting. However, I felt that the narrators didn’t come across as sufficiently distinctive. My main reservation about the book, though, was the author’s tendency to include a lot of unnecessary information about minor characters. Did we really need to know about the person one of the narrators sat next to on a plane, the name of a waitress in a restaurant or the details of ex-wives, girlfriends, etc? This actually started to annoy me. I wasn’t sure if the author was trying to flesh out the narrators’ back stories or just pad out the book. Although, I think the author was trying to communicate something sophisticated about the unreliability of memory, in the end unfortunately I don’t think the book did add up to much more than “who killed Tom, Dick or Harry” with the key piece of information that nailed the killer being a chance remark.  I did want to find out who the killer was and the motive so this kept me reading to the end.

I received an advance review copy courtesy of NetGalley and publishers, Century, in return for an honest review.

Book facts: 336 pages, publication date 26 January 2017

My rating: 3 (out of 5)

In three words: Discursive, multi-viewpoint, mystery

Try something similar…An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears.

About the Author

Eugen O. Chirovici had a career in mass-media, running a national daily newspaper and then a TV news channel. He has published over 1,000 articles in Romania and abroad. He currently holds three honorary doctorates (in Economics, Communication & History) and is a member of the Romanian Academy of Science. He is the recipient of several prizes for journalism. He lives in both the UK and New York City.

 

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11 thoughts on “Review: The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici

  1. That’s a pity, because the blurb does sound intriguing. But it annoys me too when there’s a lot of added detail that doesn’t seem to serve much purpose – in crime and mysteries, I’m all for getting on with the plot. I’m currently re-reading an Agatha Christie book and marvelling anew at how every page moves the story on…

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  2. Great review! I had similar issues with this book and also gave it 3 stars. I felt like the ideas and the premise was brilliant, but the book didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had. I found it quite confusing to follow at times, and if I’m honest I just wasn’t that excited whilst reading this. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who was disappointed.

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  3. Oh shame it didn’t live upto your expectations! I get what you mean about too much detail- it’s irritating. Plus, I find it a tad ironic that what kept you reading was the murder mystery aka “who killed tom dick or harry”. To me this book sounds a little try hard- it is a shame that it tried to be more than a regular murder mystery, cos let’s face it, the tried and tested formula of murder mysteries work just fine!

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