“The Abomination”: Waterworld
5 May, 2014
This book has been compared, favourably, with Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”, with shades of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
While this can never reach the frantic pacing of the former, it is similar to “The Inferno” and definitely better than “The Last Symbol.”
Set in Venice in the non-touristy season, several un-connected incidents are cleverly interwoven into a multifaceted story that will have you reading forward and backwards to make sense of it all.
The focus is not on the canals/gondolas but on the dark underbelly of Venice which makes fascinating reading, combining locations with trivia/theories blurring the lines between fiction and fact.
The story starts with a murder in a ghost island which is investigated by the Italian Military police team (Kat and Piola) called the Carabinieri.
A US Lieutenant, Holly, on duty in Italy is asked to investigate war crimes during the Yugoslavia in the nineties by an American citizen through an act very much like our India’s Right-To-Information Act.
The two women meet to unravel murder/disappearance followed by conspiracy theories which include war crimes, murders, sexism, religious conversions, organised prostitution, the Catholic Church, the Mafia, the judiciary and the USA involvement in genocide in the splitting of Yugoslavia that mixed religion with war, to make “man commit atrocities by making him believe absurdities.”
In the background is “Carnivia”, (somewhat like what was in Michael Crichton’s “Disclosure.”) a virtual website, primarily used for encrypted chats promoted by Barbo, a brilliant, handicapped eccentric.
Also in the heady story are an ex-CIA patriot, women priests, a ex military-man who has plummeted to lowest of depths who looks forward to ravishing his illegitimate child, an academic whose work that was to prevent war is used to create atrocities, a whistleblower who is never seen and finally, a likeable, non-corruptible (a rarity in Italy) senior Policeman whose extra-marital affair ends only in the manner it can.
The actual meaning of the odd title is given somewhere midway in the book rather un-dramatically.
The story ( the first of a trilogy) uses a person-to-person narration-style to introduce ins and outs about Venice (how slow running trains are called “Express Trains” and commercial olive oil is passed off as “Extra Virgin”) but sans the chunky descriptions.
Incidentally, my book bought on-line has a preview of the next part.
(Search the net for the site Carnivia.com which has a trailer of the book along with links to the conspiracies given in the book which I suggest you read after reading the book. Just press enter-blank-when it asks for a password)
Readers in India will love this book as we can identify with the corruption in Italy, which seems to be no better or worse than our country.
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