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Candlemoth by R.J. Ellory
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's review
Sep 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: crime-and-thrillers, 2010
Read in January, 2010

This beautifully conceived book reads like Steinbeck in its compassion and humanity. Even with a slightly clumsy, but satisfying ending, the enigmatic prose and engaging plot deserve no less than 4 stars. The characters are extremely sympathetic, portraying the best of humanity in a world that is on the verge of imploding. America is a major character in this book and you will feel just as much ambiguity towards her as to the human ones.

Set in the 1960's and 1970's for the most part, this is the story of two boys growing up in a country which is also struggling through change. The result is a coming of age novel about justice in a world where justice is just a word. Racial tensions, Vietnam, Watergate and JFK play heavy roles whilst government conspiracy theories are portrayed besides the secrets friends keep from one another. The complex threads of secrets, trust and morality are woven by a true master.

As always Ellory refuses to be categorised; Candlemoth could easily be shelved as historical fiction, crime, thriller or general fiction. It doesn't matter, Candlemoth is a seriously satisfying read and in it you can identitfy the themes which will later emerge in Ellory's more mature work. If you have never read R.J. Ellory this may be a good place to start.

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01/07/2010 page 165
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