lundi 5 janvier 2015

Retribution by Mark Charan Newton


Having just solved a difficult case in his home city of Tryum, Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld and his associate Leana are ordered to journey to the exotic city of Kuvash in Koton, where a revered priest has gone missing. When they arrive, they discover the priest has already been found - or at least parts of him have. But investigating the unusual death isn't a priority for the legislature of Kuvash; there's a kingdom to run, a census to create and a dictatorial Queen to placate. 

Soon Drakenfeld finds that he is suddenly in charge of an investigation in a strange city, whose customs and politics are as complex as they are dangerous. Kuvash is a city of contradictions; wealth and poverty exist uneasily side-by-side and behind the rich facades of gilded streets and buildings, all levels of depravity and decadence are practised. When several more bodies are discovered mutilated and dumped in a public place, Drakenfeld realizes there's a killer at work who seems to delight in torture and pain. With no motive, no leads and no suspects, he feels like he's running out of options. And in a city where nothing is as it seems, seeking the truth is likely to get him killed ...

Retribution is the second Lucan Drakenfeld novel, following Drakenfeld.
Following on from last year's Drakenfeld, Retribution is a nice continuation of the series, providing a keen mystery and a clever solution, playing with the idea of victim/perpetrator and the theme of revenge. Drakenfeld is a pleasant narrator, a clear successor to C.J Sansom's Shardlake, while his female companion and bodyguard gets some much needed and appreciated development here. 

Fans of Newton's earlier work will feel somewhat let down by the world building - Drakenfeld's world is a clear Roman cypher, mingling elements of Late Medieval / Early Renaissance Europe, without any particular attempts to bring in any of the clever New Weird stylings of the Legends of the Red Sun. The Drakenfeld series, though, continues to do what it set out to do - write a historical mystery series in a fantasy world - and to do it extremely well!

I gave Retribution 4 stars. 

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