Friday, June 22, 2018

REVIEW of The Dante Chamber by Matthew Pearl

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Penguin Press

From Mathew Pearl, the bestselling author of The Dante Club, a masterful tale of literature, obsession, and murder

The year is 1870. Five years after a series of Dante-inspired killings disrupted Boston, a man is found murdered in the public gardens of London with an enormous stone around his neck etched with a verse from the Divine Comedy. When more mysterious murders erupt across the city, all in the style of the punishments Dante memorialized in Purgatory, poet Christina Rossetti fears her brother, the Dante-obsessed artist and writer Gabriel Rossetti, will be the next victim.

Christina enlists poets Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson, and famous scholar Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, to assist in deciphering the literary clues. Together these unlikely investigators rush to unravel the secrets of Dante's verses in order to find Gabriel and stop the killings. Racing between the shimmering mansions of the elite and the dark corners of London's underworld, they descend further and further into the mystery. But when the true inspiration behind the gruesome murders is finally revealed, Christina realizes that the perpetrator has even bigger and more horrific plans than she had initially thought.

My Thoughts…

I am not a poet, nor do I know much about poets.    So, I was not familiar with the writings of Browning, Tennyson, or the others that Matthew Pearl refers to in Dante’s Chamber.  There were times that I felt like I was lost, times I felt like I had no clue what was being referred to but I kept reading.   I wanted to know where Christina’s brother was.   

Dante’s Chamber is a slow read.     I am usually a quick reader and with this one, I had to read every word and read them slowly so that I could follow the story.   Usually, I give up on books like this and I almost did a couple times but I am so glad that I continued reading.    I became invested in the story and the characters.  

While this is part of the Dante Club series it can definitely be read as a stand-alone.     I did not read the first book and I was still able to follow along, understand, and enjoy Matthew Pearl’s story.    

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