I had been bought this novel ages ago (though I can’t remember who by) and the reason that I had been put off from reading it was the fact that it was a mystery based on mathematics. I saw that the movie was coming out and that also New Books were going to do a feature on it in the next issue so I thought ‘I’ll be the masses that will read this’ as it turns out I don’t think I need have worried.
Guillermo Martinez’s debut (in the UK) novel is a tale of a Argentinean student who arrives in Oxford, within weeks of his arrival his landlady is murdered, the other person to arrive at the scene and find the body is Arthur Seldom a leading mathematician. From then on they witness more murders and Arthur receives notes in the form of mathematical symbols leading them both to the killer.
This book starts off well and is really intriguing but the dialogue is boring, the setting is slightly dull as really you don’t see Oxford at all and that could be a brilliant part of the book, and after the Da Vinci Code (which it seemed to be trying to emulate) the whole mystery fell a little flat. There was also a love interest that I never believed and in fact couldnt take to the girl at all, she was pompous and just not right. I don’t blame this totally on the author as for a start it was his debut and I think you have to be a little leniant on them, secondly it was entertaining for the first half though trying so hard to be clever I ended up so let down by the ‘thrilling ending’ that fell flat with me. I also think the translator didn’t do a great job, it seemed like they had settled for the blandest words. So overall, not my favourite book, and from the reviews of others on Amazon, and also no one has reviewed his latest book, i get the feeliong other people have felt let down by it. I don’t think I will be giving that a go either. Stick with the movie which looks much better, though actually fro the trailer I am shocked its inspired by this book, who is the cloaked figure as he isnt in the novel?