November 10, 2011

O Jerusalem ***

*** O Jerusalem, Laurie R King, 1999

I lost a lot of hours of sleep over this book, but the Mary Russell series has that effect on me. Just can't put it down. But one must do the day job occasionally, so it's not possible to read it straight through.

Although this is book five, the 425 pages of O Jerusalem take place in the time frame between pages 288 and 293 of book one, The Beekeeper's Apprentice. If I were coming to this series for the first time, I would read O Jerusalem second, not fifth.

Just like The Moor made me want to see Dartmoor, O Jerusalem made me want to explore the aqueducts of Jerusalem, although the 25 pages of their subterranean journey felt more like 50 pages to me.

The tension between Mahmoud, Ali, Holmes and Russell was brilliantly managed, and was maintained at various levels until the end. Once again, King weaves in actual historical figures with the fictional ones, which always amuses me, although the most clever one, Lieutenant-Colonel William Gillette was too obscure even for me.

I really wanted a little more time with the shadowy villain as compensation for the 400-page journey to uncover him, but alas, it was not to be.

So far, King is 5 for 5 with the Mary Russell books. I am confident of more good things to come.


Benjamin L Clark said...

I'm also just now reading this series. I'm a couple ahead of you, having started The Game night before last. *Very* enjoyable on different levels. Glad I have a few more before I get current, which I usually don't feel at book 7 of a series.

C. Allyn Pierson said...

I agree completely! O,Jerusalem and The Game are my two favorites because I love the addition of exotic locations with my Mary Russell, but LRK's series is my favorite and I have read all of them multiple times. I even drove 7 1/2 hours to St. Louis to get Pirate King signed! (Well, my son is in school there and the library is about 5 blocks from his condo.....). Also, I had my husband write a paiku (pirate haiku) which came in as second runner up...silly, but fun

Brad Whittington said...

Benjamin: I'm actualy reading the end of The Language of Bees at present. I just have the reviews scheduled to come out on Thursday, so they're a bit queued up. Because of The Game I took a detour to read Kipling's Kim. It shed a lot of light on King's book.

Allyn: Congrats on the paiku. I've got Pirate King ordered. Should be here any day.