Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review: DEAD SECRET by Richard Milton

Investigative journalist Tony Gabriel stumbles onto his biggest ever story when he inherits the papers of a long-dead Cambridge historian.

Tony is bewildered by the horrifying secrets he begins to unravel. Can human heads really be used to predict the future? Who would pay $7 million for the skull of the Russian President? Is British intelligence involved?

His search leads Tony to the wealthy and secretive Chadwick Foundation whose bizarre beliefs both repel and attract him. Are they merely wealthy, powerful people playing an elaborate game, or have they truly gained the power to see into the future? When Tony witnesses the Home Secretary die in an elaborate sex ritual at a Belgravia dinner party he knows he is in too deep to back out.

The keeper of The Foundation's secrets is the stunning, enigmatic Eve Canning, who turns his search into a very personal quest. Eve seems to know more about Tony than he knows about himself – she believes he has inherited psychic gifts.

Eve's form of love is addictive – but it has a price. She is a sadist who specialises in erotic asphyxiation. And she has revived a ritual form of sex from French revolutionary times that literally makes death an aphrodisiac.

When Tony is initiated by Eve and her cult into the ultimate terrifying secret, he has a decision to make that can cost him his life: he can achieve a form of immortality but only by risking everything.

My thoughts: For Tony Gabrielle, the sudden death of his mother opens up a whole can of strange and complex worms, which didn't quite intrigue me right away. In fact, the story starts off in a subtle and monotonous pace and is shrouded by a cast of faceless and unimpressive characters. I understand that there was a mystery hidden somewhere and I sensed a hint of a dreary, intelligible style comparable to a Sherlock Holmes case, but I guess the biggest challenge was trying to put together the jagged pieces of this convoluted and monochromatic plot. It just didn't propel me to investigate further.


My rating: 2 stars


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