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A CARRION DEATH by Michael Stanley

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By Theresa de Valence - Posted on 19 October 2012

Some weeks ago I lamented the loss of Cast of Characters, maps and glossaries. Michael Stanley (both of them) wrote to tell me their series featuring Detective Kubu had all these readers’ tools. This gave me the momentum to get a copy of A CARRION DEATH, the first in a series which has been on my radar for quite some time.

First, I have to say that my hectic life, in this instance, didn’t impinge on my reading, so with few exceptions I didn’t really need these tools. However they did enhance my enjoyment of the story. I referred to the map every few pages and looked up all the odd words in the glossary. Nearly every time I resumed reading from a break, I reread the Cast of Characters (willfully skipping descriptions of those characters I had not yet met).

These readers’ tools caused me to savour the story in a way which would not have been possible without them. When engaged in the story I still read a mile a minute, but even two weeks later I can remember more of the story because I took so many thoughtful pauses.

Probably you realize I loved this book. Detective Kubu is a unique and insightful man; he’s huge with concomitant emotional warmth. Many characters in the story are complex, including the bad guys. The book is long with rich intertwining plotlines; I predicted outcomes of a couple plot threads, but the complete story is unexpected and satisfying. The scenery is palpable. I want to go back there soon.

A CARRION DEATH is among the best books I’ve read this year.

By Michael Stanley
© 2008
Harper Collins Publishers