Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Book 87 - Tamburlaine Must Die

Book - Tamburlaine Must Die
Author - Louise Welsh
Year - 2004
Genre - Historical Thriller

Based around the final days of the playwright Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine Must Die is part reconstruction of the supposed facts surrounding his death, and part thriller.  Someone is framing him as an atheist, and there are plenty of candidates.  With plots running through government, friends who may or may not be who they say they are, and double crossings aplenty, everything points in the right direction for this book.

Unfortunately something doesn't quite gel, and the excitement is missing from the book.  It is fine enough, and teaches you a little about the history of Marlowe - who as well as being a playwright is believed to have been a spy, and as is acknowledged in the post script, some conspiracy theorists believe his death to be a ruse to allow him to write under the pseudonym 'William Shakespeare' - but somehow a certain urgency is lacking from the writing that sees you not sure how to relate to the principal character.  The twists are cleverly conceived from the somewhat blurry information that we still have about Marlowe's death, but are pretty much easy t spot, and in some cases not wholly interesting.

Not a terrible book by any means, but Tamburlaine Must Die will probably not be one of the books I remember most come the end of the challenge.  Of a slightly more interesting note is that I picked it up in a charity shop for about a pound, signed by the author.  Which is nice.


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