Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Peach Publishing (15 Nov. 2014)
Synopsis: Ageing fencing master József Varga escaped from Budapest, Hungary, during the Revolution of 1956. Years later, female members of his fencing club are found dead, stabbed through with snapped fencing blades. Someone from his past is attempting to destroy his present.
His son, Detective Sergeant Michael Varga, himself a fencer, tries to unravel the mystery, while keeping the hidden jealousy he has for his distant father from emerging. The mystery leads Michael to Budapest, where he must learn about his father’s past from the days of the Revolution and the years that followed in order to make sense of the killer’s identity and motivation.
For once, Michael feels he is able to come into his own and out of the shadow of his father’s greatness, and finds that the revenge of the past is just as dangerous to his life as to that of his father.
Netta's Rating: 4/5
Netta's Review: Detective Sergeant Michael Varga lives in his father’s shadow. József Varga is a fencing master who won many awards in Budapest in his youth. His reputation as a master continues and Michael is faced with it everywhere he goes. The Varga name is known and revered by all in the fencing world. It would seem all except one. Someone is seeking revenge.
Michael and his father have to work together when female members of József’s fencing salle are being brutally murdered. Each victim is stabbed with a broken fencing sword and a corresponding package is sent to József with a message. There is clearly a link between the murders, József and fencing but what is it?
The book is written in three parts, starting in London, moving on to Budapest and then back to London. Michael investigates the murders in London and is led to Budapest where he learns about the Revolution of 1956. József escaped Budapest during the Revolution but some family remains. Michael meets relatives, learns about his fathers’ history as well as the history of his homeland. This leads to some startling revelations about his fathers’ past. What has he done that has led to these crimes being committed so many years later and in another country? The clues lead Michael back to London where he has to fight for his life and the life of his father.
This was a gripping story that held my interest throughout. I could not forsee who committed the crimes or why. The story unfolds at an even pace leading to the ultimate climax. I enjoyed the dynamics of the father – son relationship and how it changes somewhat over the course of the book.
I was a little concerned before starting this book that the fencing would not appeal to me. I have no experience in fencing, nor do I have an interest in the sport. I was happy to find that the fencing element did not detract from my enjoyment of the book and instead was interesting and formed an integral part of the story. The characters are well written and believable. I recommend this book and give it 4/5 stars.