Colonial New Guinea, 1906: A small group of mostly German nudists lives an extreme back-to-nature existence on the remote island of Kabakon. Eating only coconuts and bananas, they purport to worship the sun. One of their members, Max Lutzow, has recently died, allegedly from malaria. But an autopsy on his body in the nearby capital of Herbertshöhe raises suspicions about foul play.
Retired British military police officer Will Prior is recruited to investigate the circumstances of Lutzow's death. At first, the eccentric group seems friendly and willing to cooperate with the investigation. They all insist that Lutzow died of malaria. Despite lack of evidence for a murder, Prior is convinced the group is hiding something.
Things come to a head during a late-night feast supposedly given as a send-off for the visitors before they return to Herbertshöhe. Prior fears the intent of the "celebration" is not to fete the visitors - but to make them the latest murder victims.
©2014 Adrian McKinty (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
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"Fascinating! McKinty always blows my socks off."
I have listened to his two trilogies more than once already. I always find something new in a second listen if the book is well written.
Loved the twist in heroics near the end. No spoilers from me, just read it.
Of course this book sent me on a research binge to try to get a hint at what was or wasn't true, and what might have really happened. I can see how the sketchy clues in the true story must have fired McKinty's estimable imagination, and I'm so glad it did. Still one of my very favorite authors.
"Great prose, but not a great story."
This is a work of historical fiction about a relatively minor episode in the history of New Guinea, although it does provide a glimpse of what German colonialism was like in 1906. I've read all McKinty's mysteries, and this novel is quite different. Although I thought his prose was often as fine as usual, the story itself isn't all that exciting. Some of the characters were interesting, although I couldn't tell how much of their personalities were figments of McKinty's imagination. I love listening to Gerard Doyle, so between his narration and McKinty's writing, I found the book enjoyable. Thankfully, it wasn't too long.
"Who Really Wrote This?"
A departure from McKinty's usual fine works, this novel seems an unlikely tale of drug-addled societal escapees who go from being brain dead to a mob of killers. Even the good guys are unlikable. The finale seems contrived to quickly end a miserable effort. The historical portrait of time and place is superficial. If this were the only work I'd read by this author, it would be my last.
"Loads of potential, then things went to hell"
I love Adrian McKinty. I liked the premise of the book. I enjoyed parts of it. But the ending? Are you kidding me? So lame and unbelievable you will wish you never started the book. Don't say I didn't warn you.
After listening to "Falling Glass", the first book by this author that I'd read (hold onto your hat, its so exciting) - I found "The Sun is God" extremely tedious and boring. Not much more to say beyond that.
"It Fell Apart"
I choose this novel because Gerard Doyle narrated the text. He's the Irish George Guidall, right?
It is a tale of European's "gone bush," an idiom meaning an expatriate whom has lived too long in the jungle. The set up for this story was decent, with our main character (British) exiting the Boer War in South Africa under a cloud, only to arrive in Papua New Guinea to find himself a de facto magistrate of sorts.
He then investigates a murder in nudist colony on a small malaria plagued island inhabited by Germans and Brits. The weirdness of the plot couldn't carry the day. Eventually, I got bored with the messianic cliches of the nudist cult leader, finding myself skipping chapters to see "who-donnit." But, who cares was my final conclusion.
Skip this download. However, listen to Gerard Doyle where you can…he is a master story teller (I promise!).
Yes I definitely would.
It was a very interesting story, I had never heard anything about this before listening to this book.
Plus the fact that it is Adrian McKinty and Gerard Doyle that in itself is enough for me to read it again.
None that I can think of.
It is unlike any of the authors other books.
Yes! He is one of my favorite narrators.
Great performance as always.
I think Gerard Doyles narration is always great even if sometimes the books themselves aren't. But with McKinty and Joyal you know it's going to be a great listen.
Yes, and I did do that.
Stayed up all night last night to listen to it.
McKinty really can write about anything.
I hope to see some more historical accounts written by him in the future.
"Pretty Uneventful Story"
While the summary of the story sounded interesting, the story itself was a little less than that. I am a big Adrian McKinty fan and certainly had higher hopes for this book.
Of course, if you like me, are a big McKinty fan, this becomes a must read. It's certainly better than the random average to poor book out there, but simply wasn't up to the standard McKinty type book I have become accustomed to.
I would highly recommend the "Dead" / Michael Forsythe trilogy, and the Troubles trilogy by McKinty, the Dead trilogy being my favorite.
Gerard Doyle does a great job narrating as he always does with McKinty books.
"Take a wild ride with a master of the mystery!"
I must admit to a bias here: I love this writer and his narrative voice. This is a historical novel based on fact, so it is really a radical departure for Adrian, but you won't be disappointed if you put on your headphones and let the story and atmosphere carry you back in time to a very exotic locale.
The most memorable moments would all be spoilers, I'm afraid, but the moment when the prim and proper English woman goes "native" would have to be toward the top,
I'm afraid the revealing the most powerful scenes would spoil the story, but the bizarre dinner party with the "Queen" toward the beginning of the book will stick in your memory for quite some time.
Yes. I came close, For someone who is deliberately trying to practice delaying gratification McKinty's books definitely test my self control.
Be prepared for a very strange story indeed.
"Just the right length"
I was introduced to McKinty through the Duffy trilogy, which is still his best work so far. I really found the subject of this book a bit of an odd direction for him, but also I was curious to see how he would handle it as an author. Overall, I found this to be an interesting book. Not as compelling as other books he has penned, but interesting. McKinty's style is there and it dances with wanting to be a Duffy or Forsythe book, but manages to hold its own identity despite being a crime investigation story. Gerard Doyle did an amazing job of narrating. This book had just the right length too, as one more hour would have killed it. Overall, it's a brief, interesting read.
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