Mini-Review: Tropic of Darkness, Reluctant Cannibals, Monster of Florence


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Tropic of Darkness

Title: Tropic of Darkness

Author: Tony Richards

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Available on ebook, an original full-length supernatural thriller set in Havana, Cuba, from an acclaimed Bram Stoker Award-nominated author.

Jack Gilliard is a man with a dark past, and he hasn’t been back to the United States for more than a decade. But when he washes up in Havana, Cuba, he finds himself being drawn into a business darker than he ever dared think. Ancient passions, ancient treacheries, an age-old curse, and the evils of his past are now consuming the present—and Jack is caught in the midst of it all. To survive, all he has to do is leave the country—a prospect much more difficult than anticipated. But the real question is: can Jack escape before the darkness claims him altogether?

Review: The first half is slow-paced, and I struggled to connect to the characters. Everything seems random, and only starts to make sense in the second half of the book, which actually managed to pique my interest. Not that bad, but not great either.

The Reluctant Cannibals

Title: The Reluctant Cannibals

Author: Ian Flitcroft

Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When a group of food-obsessed academics at Oxford University form a secret dining society, they happily devote themselves to investigating exotic and forgotten culinary treasures. Until a dish is suggested that takes them all by surprise. Professor Arthur Plantagenet has been told he has a serious heart problem and decides that his death should not be in vain. He sets out his bizarre plan in a will, that on his death, tests the loyalty of his closest friends, the remaining members of this exclusive dining society. A dead Japanese diplomat, police arrests and charges of grave robbing. These are just some of the challenges these culinary explorers must overcome in tackling gastronomy’s ultimate taboo: cannibalism.

Review: What a deliciously disturbing read (and yes, that’s a pun). Highly atmospheric, with intriguing characters who are never quite what they seen. The characterization works miracles, and there’s a hint of black humor riddled throughout the book.

The Monster of Florence

Title: The Monster of Florence

Author: Magdalen Nabb

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Based on a chilling true crime, The Monster of Florence follows the reopening of a cold case—a serial killer who targeted unmarried couples and terrorized Florence for two decades.

Marshal Guarnaccia’s job with the carabinieri—the local Florentine police—usually involves restoring stolen handbags to grateful old ladies and lost cameras to bewildered tourists. So when he is assigned to work with the police in trying to track down a vicious serial killer, he feels out of his league. To make matters worse, the Proc he must report to is Simonetti, the same man he knows drove an innocent man to suicide several years earlier in his blind quest for a conviction. The Marshal can’t let the stress of the case get to him if he wants to make sure justice is upheld.

Review: Beautiful descriptions of Florence and the setting, but the main character lacks spark and personality, and appears rather dull. The pacing isn’t always consistent either. Enjoyable, but not worth a reread.



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