Books of the Week: The Abomination & The Abduction (Books 1 & 2 of the Carnivia Trilogy) – Jonathan Holt

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a sinister, complex, immersive suspense series to dive into this summer? Start with The Abomination—in paperback now–and rest easy knowing that the next installment is available in a couple weeks.

This is one of those dark, textured, page-turning series that is hard to sound bite. It takes place in contemporary Venice (often sinister enough on its own). But much of the story also takes place in the virtual world of Carnivia.com. It’s a Second Life-like program that pulls this story into Stieg Larsson territory. Add a series of murders, the Catholic Church, the U.S. military–and this turns into nail-biting hall of mirrors that explores the divide between reality and fantasy and engages the reader in up-to-the-minute ethical dilemmas about privacy, secrets and transparency.

Reviews for The Abomination were rapt: “there is something truly haunting about those glimpses into the mysterious shadow world of Carnivia…” –NYTBR;“The Abomination leaves you hungry for more.”  — Chicago Tribune; “[R]emarkable debut novel…[a] fascinating mix of history, paranoia, and real-live terror (drones on your tail).”  — Booklist (starred review)

Advance reviews for book two signal more of the same:

“The disappearance in Venice of 16-year-old Mia Elston, an American officer’s daughter, kick-starts Holt’s enthralling second Carnivia thriller.Videos soon appear on Carnivia.com—a cyber-Venice in which carnival masks hide identities and ethical boundaries collapse—showing Mia undergoing CIA-sanctioned ‘interrogation’ techniques….Capt. Kat Tapo and U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Holly Boland suspect the abductors have powerful, hidden supporters with another agenda. They enlist Daniele Barbo, Carnivia’s reclusive mastermind, to help find Mia….Holt weaves her kidnapping into a larger narrative of American foreign policy during WWII, the Cold War, and post-9/11, raising troubling questions about how the U.S. defines its allies and foes, and how it treats both.”
Publishers Weekly

The Abomination (9780062267016) by Jonathan Holt. $14.99 trade paperback. 4/8/14 on sale.
The Abduction (9780062267047) by Jonathan Holt. $26.99 hardcover. 6/3/14 on sale.

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