LillyBooks's Reviews > The Dante Chamber

The Dante Chamber by Matthew Pearl
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really liked it

I loved Pearl's previous book on this subject, The Dante Club, and even though I've read and enjoyed other of his works, I just never felt they lived up to The Dante Club. So, of course, I was thrilled to see he'd written a sequel after all this time.

The weird thing is that, after all this time, it's hard to recall the specifics of The Dante Club and I feel that I ought to in order to make a proper comparison. (One could argue comparison isn't needed, that this book should be reviewed on its own terms, but they are published as companion novels. Also, every character in this new novel can't stop referencing the first.) Here's what I think I remember: there was a lot more murder in the first book. I'm not a violent person, but when one wants to read a thriller-style murder mystery about a serial killer, one wants to there to be a lot of thrilling, serial murders. The murders here are secondary to Pearl using the mostly-new cast of characters to expound on their endless knowledge of Dante. Large sections of this book read more like biography and/or literary criticism.

Which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it; note the four stars. I'm still a sucker for any intelligent, well-crafted literary mystery. I liked that the characters were mostly-new this time, as that added a fresh flavor to the narrative. Each character is unique and very well rounded. The tension-building is excellent, and the amount of detail is astounding. And, when we do get a murder, they are fiendishly planned and cleverly executed.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 14, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 16, 2018 – Shelved

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