Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Frozen Sea by Rosanne Dingli - for the fans of Dan Brown

Greetings, commies and fans of Dan Brown! Today's guest is a prolific and erudite author from down-under Rosanne Dingli.  She has a series of thrilling and eloquent literary mysteries. Connecticut Commie congratulates her on the release of her latest novel The Frozen Sea.

The Frozen Sea is a literary adventure, and an exploration of what it means to be alone. Its characters leap from the pages of literary history to haunt and disturb the present. Rosanne Dingli adds to the Bryn Awbrey series with an evocative exploration of words and perceptions, which stays with the reader long after the last page is turned.

During an unseasonal cold snap in Venice, Loretta Groombridge seeks employment. Her uncle’s legacy is running out, and she is lonely. Eccentric Welsh professor Bryn Awbrey and his secretive house guest plunge her deep into a literary mystery, which becomes riskier the more she discovers. Her degree is not enough to arm her for the dilemma, and neither is her ability to deal with disappointment and fear. A frightening attack robs her of dignity and peace of mind, and signals more insecurity. When she takes a break, a fire in the night summons her back, and almost robs her of all she has found to love in Venice. The risk-filled history of the ancient city seems transported to the present time.

My thoughts
I received a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. Apparently, this novel is one in the Bryn Awbrey series, and I'm thinking of reading more. This is definitely a cross-genre novel that doesn't quite fit your typical time-travel or duel era genre, even though the narrative does jump from one era to another. As her endowment depletes, Loretta Goombridge finds herself at a crossroad and growing increasingly anxious about her future. Professor Bryn Awbrey entices her into a literary mystery. A good chunk of the novel is set in Venice - a popular destination for soul-searching loners.

The author's academic background is apparent. Her erudition shines through. And she crafts every sentence lovingly, with elegance and sophistication. But you have to be trained for that style of narrative that skips from genuine documents, to present day, to various locations in Europe in 1930s and 1950s. If you are not used to that type of pace, you will catch yourself doing what I did - going back and rereading certain passages to ensure your grasp of continuity. The fans of Dan Brown who love the signature Brown-esque literary techniques will be delighted.

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