Series: Duncan Forrester
Book Number: 2
Read this book for: detailed historical setting, post-WWII espionage, whodunnit mystery, archaeologist adventurers, romance subplot, multiple murders
Quick Review: Even better than the first outing, this book fuses Christie-style whodunnit with the archaeology of Indiana Jones for a suspenseful adventure in Greece.
Duncan Forrester has travelled to Greece, intent on recovering the ancient Cretan stone he discovered during the war, while part of an SOE mission to kidnap a German commander. But during a visit to Athens he witnesses the poisoning of a Greek poet, who it appears may have not been the intended target. The man Forrester believes to have been marked for death is a general, who has been approached to lead ELAS, the military arm of the Greek communists. With Greece on the brink of civil war, and more attempts made on the general’s life – not to mention an enemy from his own past on his heels – Forrester knows that the country’s future depends on the fate of one man…
THE AGE OF OLYMPUS is the SECOND of the Duncan Forrester novels by Gavin Scott, following shortly after the events of THE AGE OF TREACHERY. THE AGE OF OLYMPUS takes Forrester to Greece, where he had spent a portion of the Second World War. Scott fulfills the wish that I was left with at the end of the last novel: to learn more about Forrester’s past.
Scott once again impresses with his grasp of history and his ability to weave it into the story. He does an excellent and evocative job of building a portrait of a beautiful country in transition with underlying turmoil in an attempt to recover from great suffering. He does a wonderful job of describing various gorgeous locations – hidden caves, castles, mountains, fishing villages, islands and more. It felt like he took a bit more license with the locations and history in this novel, which actually makes it a little more relaxed and almost more believable because of it.
This time too, the archaeology is even more fun – it’s reminiscent of Indiana Jones, with the fight against the Nazis, exotic locations, battles over artifacts of great historical and religious significance, and a sense of grand adventure. (After I wrote this, I realized Scott was a developer and scriptwriter for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV series! This makes sense…)
This is a really excellent combination with the Christie-style whodunnit nature of several of the deaths. The majority of the murders take place in some slightly complicated way, with a large cast of characters, who all have their secrets, and who are all under suspicion.
In fact, the cast of characters is almost so large so as to be slightly unwieldy. I was confused a few times as to who was who. While you eventually figure it out, the impact of the first murder and investigation that follows is slightly lessened as you try to keep all the characters straight in your head.
Despite this, I would definitely say THE AGE OF OLYMPUS is worth a read, particularly if you like a dose of adventure with an investigation! This series is getting stronger with each consecutive book, and I can’t wait for the next.