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Island of Dead Gods by Verena Mahlow
An island in the Mediterranean, a traveler’s dream destination, and a nightmare for those involved in a deep-rooted crime.
Philine, interpreter, single mother, and bankrupt, is forced to sell her one asset, her beloved cottage on Ibiza, when she runs into even more problems: her best friend has disappeared, a fire breaks out-and, on top of all, she is confronted with Adam, a man she, for good reason, never wanted to see again. He’d flown in from Texas to bury his sister, who supposedly committed suicide on the island, though he suspects she was murdered. When a connection between her death, Phil’s disappeared friend, and more fatalities are revealed, the two ex-lovers reluctantly collaborate.
“Verena Mahlow’s Island of Dead Gods combines a meticulously constructed international thriller with her extensive personal exploration of Ibiza, long a magnet for bohemians, speculators and sybarites of all nationalities. Mahlow’s intelligently devised, twisting plot includes much local color-cuisine, ancient sites, modern ambience-and diverse characters, an arcane coterie of goddess-worshipping proto-feminists and men treating themselves to easy, sleazy sex. Mahlow deftly moves these players toward an unexpected, explosive climax.”- Barbara Bamberger Scott, A Woman’s Write
Island of Dead Gods by Verena Mahlow is a rare and extraordinary novel that will appeal to readers of many genres. A fascinating blend of mystery, romance, mythology, history and the ongoing struggle between the sexes, it’s a complex, exciting and compelling novel that takes you on a whirlwind trip across Ibiza, past and present.
Philine, or Phil, as she’s known to her friends, is at the lowest point in her life. Bankrupt and disillusioned by failed relationships, she comes home to Ibiza hoping to take steps to get her life back on track. Instead, she finds her best friend missing, her beloved house burns down in mysterious circumstances, an ex-lover she hoped never to see again pops up and she becomes embroiled in a murder investigation. As the story progresses, Phil is determined to solve the mysteries and gain control of her life, but the more details she learns, the greater danger she is in.
I’ve always loved mythology, so that was the first thing that drew me to this book. When you add in all the other aspects of the story, it’s a very captivating and satisfying read. Verena Mahlow’s has a wonderful, expressive and descriptive writing style. She does an admirable job of weaving in local characters and color, making it easy for the reader to feel as though they are on location and part of the action. The characters are quirky and interesting and just when you think you have one all figured out, a mysterious twist is thrown in. The story is detailed and moves along at a good pace, keeping the reader engaged, interested and fully wrapped up in the characters and the story. The bits of history and culture about Ibiza and the surrounding area are really interesting and intriguing– enough so that I’d love to visit there myself!
It’s not easy to write across genres and author Verena Mahlow has done an exemplary job. This is a compelling read, not one that is easy to put down! If you’re looking for something intriguing, different and entertaining, grab a copy of Island of Dead Gods by Verena Mahlow. It is a 5 star, must read novel. An extraordinary mystery, suspense, thriller and romance. Book review by DL Courtney for Chick Lit Café.
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