Carla's Reviews > Old Scores

Old Scores by Will Thomas
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really liked it
bookshelves: own

A Japanese diplomat has been murdered and, given his recent contact with him, as well as his proximity when the crime occurred, Cyrus Barker is the prime suspect. Taken under custody and roughly treated, he ends up being – oddly – released through the influence of his loyal assistant, Thomas Llewelyn. However, the mystery remains and the ambassador’s replacement hires Barker’s services to find out who is the real murderer. Still, it is no easy task and Barker and Llewelyn will need all their wits to bring the truth to light. For the Japanese have come with secret intentions – and Barker has old scores to settle with one of them.
One of the first things worth mentioning about this book is that, despite being the ninth volume in this series, it can easily be read without any prior knowledge. Doing so does, however, have a quite peculiar and pleasant side effect. One ends up wanting to read all the other volumes. Cyrus Barker is a fascinating character, with his troubled past, his brooding and intriguing personality and his strangely brilliant mind. Thomas, on the other hand, has a particularly impressive sense of loyalty, which becomes especially important given the kind of circumstances this duo tends to get themselves into. And so, since this is just one of their many cases together, one can’t help but want to know the others – especially given the solid web of relationships that Barker seems to have weaved around him.
There is also a delicate and fascinating balance between lightness and danger, humour and intrigue. The whole case is brilliant and the final resolution is particularly intense. But there is a particular strength in mixing all this mystery and intrigue with a series of strong personal relationships, with a delicious sense of humour (Thomas is a brilliant narrator) and some glimpses of vulnerability that work as an acute reminder that Cyrus Barker is, after all, immensely human.
And, of course, it is important to look to the scenery itself, with its marked contrasts. From the peaceful serenity of a Japanese garden to the inevitable chaos of an establishment made for conspiracies, there is an enthralling mixture of light and darkness that reflects in the characters' themselves. Also, there is a measure of habits and rituals that, given how this story ends, is especially remarkable.
Intriguing, intense and fascinating, this is, then, a book that, somewhat sherlockian by nature, soon reveals the true depth of its own particular identity. Fascinating characters, a brilliant plot and the perfect balance between lightness and danger turn this read into a book to remember.

** I received this book for free through Flapping Pages in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

February 26, 2020 – Shelved
February 26, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
February 26, 2020 – Shelved as: own
March 17, 2020 – Started Reading
March 19, 2020 – Finished Reading

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