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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Davis Bunn: The Patmos Deception

By Kelly Bridgewater

Remember the controversial book, The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. Who doesn’t? The book made the front page news. Who wanted to read a book where the secret is saying that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene? Christians were up in arms. Everything Dan Brown wrote about was not proven by history. It was all speculation.

But the question, I have to ask is: Did you actually read the book to see what the hype was all about? Come on, tell the truth. I DID! Even though I completely disagreed with Dan Brown’s theology, I loved the twists and turns of the story. From the first pages of finding a dead body in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France to England and all the way through the pages of history. The story was complex, and I remember reading the book in one day. It was thrilling and exciting. I was afraid if I put the book down, then I would miss something important.

When I read the synopsis of The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn, I thought this could be good. An author who has hit the best-seller lists and would write something in the same biblical thriller genre like The DaVinci Code. I couldn’t wait for Bethany House to send me my complimentary copy. I wanted moments of breathless action and characters whom fell in love as they tried to solve the mystery of the Patmos Island where Apostle John wrote the Revelation letters.

The Patmos DeceptionBut I was sadly disappointed. The book is labeled as Romantic Suspense on the back cover of the book, but there were no emotions throughout the entire book. As for the romantic feelings, Nick declares he begins to love Carey, but I don’t see how that was even possible. He never once showed how a little tingle up his spine affected him or wanting to spend time with Carey made him excited. Nick wandered around on the pages of the story not really doing anything. He used his journalistic skills at the end of the novel to help solve the mystery, but he didn’t do anything else. On the other hand, Carey used to have feelings for Nick when she was younger but seeing him again, she mentioned those feelings, but they never advanced to realistic love. To confuse the readers even more, Bunn made Playboy, Dimitri Rubinos, decide he could settle down and become real with Carey. I don’t understand how this was even possible. The relationships weren’t defined. None of the characters really spent time getting to know each other in order to pursue a mature relationship. 

The characters had no personality. Yes, they were passionate about their chosen careers, but other than that, they got excited about nothing else. First, you meet Carey Mathers, a student in forensic archeology, who wants to complete her Ph.D with field work in Greece, but the company she came to work for has folded shortly before she arrives. Then the plot introduces Nick Hennessy, who might be our hero I wasn’t sure, a journalist on the hunt for his next big story to make a name for himself. He calls on Carey, an old acquaintance from Texas where they grew up, to help him find stolen artifacts.  To throw a twist in, there is a subplot, which tangles up with Carey and Nick later in the book, featuring Dimitri Rubinos, who runs a tourist/ fishing business to earn money in Greek’s faltering economy.

As for the suspense, it took until page 117 to discover what Nick and Carey were looking for. It was described as “massive silver and gold frames decorated with gemstones.” But then the hunt turned to counterfeit money and then moved onto a letter from the scribe who wrote down John’s revelations. I was confused as to what they were actually looking for. In a suspense book, there should be moments of sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what happens, but this book did none of that. Never once throughout the first 257 pages of the book did Carey and Nick’s life become in danger. Suspense books place peril around the characters every chance they get, but I never worried about them because no one was chasing them, trying to stop them from looking for the artifacts. Even the ending had me tossing the book across the bed declaring that the book wasn’t that well written. Maybe Davis Bunn should read The DaVinci Code and see how to construct a biblical thriller that has the readers on the edge of their seat.

I was highly disappointed with this book. It does not live up to the genre of romantic suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and all the opinions are my own.

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