Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Abomination (The Carnivia Trilogy, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Abomination (The Carnivia Trilogy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Abomination (The Carnivia Trilogy #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,551 Ratings  ·  261 Reviews
When the clock strikes midnight on the feast day of La Befana, Venice is aglow as a cascade of glittering fireworks bursts above the city. Masked figures crowd the vaporettos, the trattorias are humming with grappa-soaked gossip, and the possibility for random passion heats the frosty winter air.

Across the Grand Canal, beneath the stunning white dome of one of Venice's gra
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Harper (first published 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Abomination, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jim I am only a 100 pages in of 430 and I love it. I like the three main characters, the virtual world is interesting, the murder mystery intriguing. I am…moreI am only a 100 pages in of 430 and I love it. I like the three main characters, the virtual world is interesting, the murder mystery intriguing. I am excited to see how the threads weave together.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jonathan Holt, where have you been all my life? And when are you going to write another book?

First, I suppose, we should discuss your debut novel. I really enjoyed it, every intricate, detailed page. I love the characters you created, although I will tell you that I have some - shall I say - questions pertaining to Aldo Piola. I'm sure you understand what they are.

But I've gotten ahead of myself.

I like the setting you chose. Venice. So rich with possibility, so ripe for crime, secrecy, and passi
Marius Gabriel
Lots of abominable things in this complicated but superficial thriller, which fizzles at the end

Jonathan Holt's "The Abomination" is a made-to-measure bestseller, taking a soupçon of Dan Brown, a pinch of Inspector Montalbano and sprinkling of Robert Ludlum to produce a rather indigestible stew of Vatican cabals, sex slavery, police procedure and war crimes.

With such a complicated plot, the novel is unable to penetrate any of its themes in depth, and remains relentlessly superficial, the charact
Julian King
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dan Brown meets Stieg Larsson ... but don't let that put you off!

Sorry about the 'Dan Brown' reference: in fact, this is written by a writer who can write. It's just that conspiracy theories involving the Catholic church sort of invite the comparison. Indeed, Holt doesn't stop at the Catholic church: he throws everything at this. We are treated to corruption at the highest level also in the US military, with a dash of Mafia involvement, too, for good measure.

Big issues are tackled: murder, peopl
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fast Paced Murder Mystery Thriller

The Abomination by Jonathan Holt is a brilliant introduction to a new thriller trilogy series based around the Venice with two brilliant lead women and an odd ball loner who all need to join forces to solve this murder mystery. There is nothing run of the mill about this thriller as it is fast paced that takes you through a mix of emotions. All well written and planed by Jonathan Holt which happens to be a pseudonym for an already best selling British author – e
Katie Turner
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Despite a lot of good reviews, I did not love this book and do not understand what people are raving about. In my opinion, there were too many plot lines, the plot twists were too complex to be fully developed - leaving a lot of holes and forcing the reader to make too many mental leaps or assumptions, and the character development was "meh". The "affair" between Kat Tapo and her commanding officer was so predictable it bordered on cliche, and it did nothing to add to the fabric of the novel. Th ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

In Venice, a woman’s body, clothed in the robes of a Catholic priest, washes up during one of the city’s regular bouts of flooding. She’s been shot in the head twice, and mysterious tattoos point to possible occult involvement. Detective-Colonel Aldo Piola is at the scene along with his new partner, Captain Kat Tapo. She’s about to experience her first murder investigation. She admires Piola a great deal, and is eager to impress him, but her first case mig
Nov 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Every once in a while you get the opportunity to read a book that completely takes you to another world. If you’re lucky you’ll be swept away by an atmospheric storyline, characters ever so vibrant and real they will make you forget about your own troubles, the rotten weather outside and the fact that Christmas is approaching faster than Santa on an Italian moped. The Abomination by Jonathan Holt is one such book.

Predominately set in Venice this is without question a magical book. I absolutely a
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
originally posted at

Head of Zeus send over some of there finest crime novels of 2013 and The Abomination was one of them. Like I said before I have been exploring different genres of English books and found that crime/thriller was directly up my alley. There are a lot of praises going on about this book for fans of Dan Brown and others, well I haven't read those so I cant compare. But what I can judge is that The Abomination is a top notch thriller. It's
Papatya ŞENOL
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
polisiye okumaya alışkın olmasam da gönül rahatlığıyla tavsiye edebileceğim bir kitap "yüz karası": carnivia üçlemesinin ilk cildi. bu demek oluyor ki keskin yorumlar yapmadan önce diğer ciltleri de okumam gerekecek.
venedik'in maskeli, ıslak ve karanlık sokaklarında gizemli bir cinayetle başlıyor roman. şaşırtıcı ve merak uyandıran biçimde kiliseyi, ABD dış politikasını, 90'larda Balkanlardaki savaş suçlarını, italyan polis sistemini ve sosyal medya kavramlarını içiçe geçirerek kuruyor hikayesin
Robin Carter
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime

This book was my latest foray outside my reading comfort zone. I'm not a big reader of crime fiction and it takes something special to make me pick it up, and after all the feedback the lovely ladies at Head of Zeus had given me on this one, well I didn't really have a choice but to read it...(a no brainer).

Its a book I'm glad I picked up, the writing is clean, crisp and has a nice steady pace that draws you (the reader) in. The plot switches between the various characters builds and adds
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
If The Davinci Code and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo had a baby, and that baby grew up and had a baby, that grandchild would be The Abomination. The plot, theme and level of suspense in The Abomination is a diluted version of Code and Tattoo. It's a fun read just not a must read.
Liz Barnsley
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely BRILL opening to a trilogy - very exciting and a great story and premise. Full review to come next couple of days.
James Rye
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Someone said, "If you like Dan Brown, you'll like this." They were wrong. I like Dan Brown, but I loved this. I did really enjoy this book for several reasons.

First, the plot was fantastically intriguing. Three seemingly unrelated incidents happen to different people in different parts of Venice. The author then skilfully takes us on a journey where we are invited to link the incidents together and then use that knowledge to resolve the ending. What I particularly liked is that, for the most par
Feb 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susana Sanchez-Gonzalez
Having grown somewhat tired of all the Dan Brown copycat titles that have flooded the market during the past few years, I was happy to try a new thriller where yes, the Church is once more involved but there are no hidden secret books, strange codes to break in or far-fetched conspiracies living amongst even more far-fetched plots.
On the contrary, “The Abomination” (still not sure about this title), very cleverly deals with contemporary issues such as the ordination of female priests or the use
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
It begins with death. I guess many mystery novels do. But this death is particularly unpleasant. A woman’s body has been found in Venice, clothed in the vestments of a Roman Catholic priest. In the eyes of conservative Catholics this is an abomination. Investigating this heinous crime is Captain Kat Tapo of the Carabinieri, along with her superior officer Detective-Colonel Aldo Piola. This is just the start of a twisting mystery that involves the CIA, the military, the government and the Roman C ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
The first quarter of this book was really enjoyable and I was impressed that the main female characters were, unusually for a thriller, pleasingly complex and nuanced. It opened with a couple of intriguing storylines that appeared to be weaving in and out of one another quite neatly so I was settling in for an enjoyable ride. Then a few more storylines were added and suddenly everything was spread too thin to be enjoyable.

This novel attempts to simultaneously tackle murder, church corruption, c
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it
It pays to read the blurb and not just judge the cover. This book was totally not what I expected I thought it was going to be kind of supernatural paranormal, but no, it was a great big crime novel set in Italy and introducing some good characters who work as a trio to solve a nasty war crime. I liked it. It does have a little bit of weirdness, there is a lot to say about women's rights in the police force and in the army, but sometimes the actions and conversations of the characters don't real ...more
Rick Fisher
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime-drama
4.5 stars
Beautifully and stylishly written. Well thought out and constructed novel. In-depth, interesting and intriguing plot. Great characters especially Daniele Barbo. And, spot on, perfect title. Especially considering the atrocities that took place during the nineties in Yugoslavia.
I found, even with occasional twists and turns, to be a quick, easy and thoroughly enjoyable read. Highly recommend this to all my GR friends. Look forward to the next in what is supposed to be a trilogy.
Robin Kempf
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Not great literature but a fun little mystery, filled with international intrigue. The characters were deftly drawn and complicated. Even at the end, I was not quite sure who to trust. I'll definitely continue with the series when I'm in the mood for the junk food equivalent of books.
Jane Botten
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A ripping yarn! I can't summarise the plot it is too complicated! It involves the Venetian police force, the American military, computer hackers and the Catholic church and unravels war abuse in Yugoslavia and human trafficking. Brilliant read.
Ana Sampson
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great thriller - ideal for anyone who liked Dan Brown's plots but hated his terrible writing style as this is well-written and exciting.
Carey Combe
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Having got to the end, I am still not sure what the hell is going on. Shall probably read the other two as I like the ridiculous characters.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Every once in a while, I come across a book that reminds me of the suspense and plot twists of the Robert Ludlum books. "The Abomination" is one. I give it 5 stars.

It is one of the rare books that focus on women characters without making them the victim or the "supporting cast." Katerina (Kat) Topo, a Viennese police captain and Holly Boland, an American officer team up to solve crimes committed during the Balkan wars twenty-years earlier, with a lot of push-back from people that want to keep it
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
This is a really good mystery. It is good to see three separate strands of story and characters wound together into one satisfying story. The action is scary. The mystery deep and complicated. I was loving the book until the last act when the two women leads make a decision that seems out of character for them. But Holt brings it back together and ends well.

This book has a lot of real world issues and might be better with a disclaimer as it does involve the unraveling of sex slavery in Italy.
I love this book. Oh! Holt you are now on my automatic buying list! Whatever you write. Imma gonna buy it! I am recommending this book to everyone!
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Degisik bir hikaye, akici uslup, bol ters koseye yatirmali surukleyici anlatim.uclemenin ilk kitabi. Polisiye severlere gore
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Just adequate in every feature: attempting to cover police, military, and political procedures in a situation that blends Italian and American and virtual worlds with intrigue that involves NATO and Mafia and local vigilantes, the author almost keeps it interesting without probing any depths. The romance is like exchanging warm spit.
Josh Sieders
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A good page turner with multiple converging storylines. The author reveals a bit of a political agenda, especially at the end. Regardless of the agenda, it somehow cheapened the story a bit.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-unread
A few too many military references for me in parts but really enjoyed this, kept me guessing.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins
  • The Lost Library
  • The Missing File
  • White Lies (Dan Shepherd, #11)
  • Øjesten (Lars Winkler #1)
  • The Summer of Dead Toys (Inspector Salgado #1)
  • The Turin Shroud Secret
  • The Healer
  • The Dogs of War
  • Crucible of Secrets (Alexander Seaton, #3)
  • Good People
  • The Medici Mirror
  • Lonely Graves (Pieter Posthumus Trilogy, #1)
  • The City of Shadows (Stefan Gillespie, #1)
  • Where the Devil Can't Go (Kiszka and Kershaw, #1)
  • Airtight
  • The Golden Scales (Makana, #1)
  • The Gift of Darkness (Alice Madison, #1)

Other Books in the Series

The Carnivia Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Abduction (The Carnivia Trilogy, #2)
  • The Absolution (The Carnivia Trilogy, #3)

Share This Book

“portable” 0 likes
“Romans” 0 likes
More quotes…