Sunday, May 22, 2011

Book Review: "The Devil's Mask"

Christopher Wakling's The Devil's Mask (Faber and Faber, 2011) is a historical mystery (think something along the lines of David Liss' books, though this one is not at the same level), set in Bristol during the first years of the nineteenth century. The slave trade has been abolished, but young lawyer Inigo Bright discovers that the practice may not be quite eradicated. When he gets too close to some uncomfortable truths, he finds his very life may be in danger.

While an entertaining, fast read, The Devil's Mask lacked contextual details, and some of the side-plots went undeveloped (Bright's relationship with his bride-to-be and her family could have used some fleshing out, for example). Short interludes from a different perspective pretty much give away the game right from the outset, so by the end there's little mystery left.

Overall, good for a weekend afternoon's entertainment, but there are certainly better books in the genre.

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