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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Like Dan Brown But A Bit More Left Field

The Ninth Circle - Alex Bell

This novel covers similar ground to Dan Brown's books: an age old battle between good and evil framed within a Christian cosmology, cryptic messages that need to be deciphered, angels and demons walking the streets. But it's a bit more left-field.

It starts off quite well - a man wakes up in an apartment in Budapest, his face glued to the floor by his own dried blood, a huge bundle of money on the kitchen table - but the plot never really goes anywhere. Yes, there are a series of revelations that unpeel like the layers of an onion but ultimately the book doesn't really deliver. It's an interesting debut, certainly, but the writing strikes me as a bit unsophisticated in places and the ending is emotionally unsatisfactory