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Book Review | The Night Villa by Carol Goodman

November 4, 2008

The Night Villa: A Novel
Web site for Carol Goodman
Ballantine Books, August ’08
432 pages
Historical fiction, thriller
Book provided by Random House
Book #99

I’ll start by stating that this author is new to me and I’d read more of her work. Actually I have The Sonnet Lover in my TBR pile. For the most part I enjoyed both the modern day and historical story lines woven together in The Night Villa. An interesting mix of what was and what is. I found the writing and storytelling fit my reading style perfectly. It was fast paced, filled with interesting historical detail and fact, and provided suspenseful intrigue and hidden evils.

You start with a summer internship interview that ends in a deadly college shooting and you wind up journeying to the other side of the world battling a modern day cult for long lost scrolls that will unlock secret and ancient mysteries. The mystical rites and practices involving Iusta, the slave girl, and her mistress, Calatoria were engrossing. The setting, on the isle of Capri, was wonderful and makes me want to travel to this part of the world. I want to swim in the grottoes, explore the ruins, take in the incredible scenery, eat the superb food and drink luscious wines.

What I didn’t enjoy was the mythological part of the story. While I understand it was integral to the plot line and necessary overall I’m just not a big fan of mythology. What it didn’t do was stop me from enjoying a good book.

  1. November 4, 2008 7:06 pm

    I’m afraid to comment on your book reviews. This one sounds pretty good, but I’m not sure I want to read about a deadly college shooting.
    Not to downplay any shooting, anywhere but this portrayal is very short and not terribly graphic and it involves minor characters in the plot. I do realize that this can be extremely upsetting to some readers. She uses it an effective tool to set up the cult story line.

  2. November 4, 2008 9:42 pm

    Glad you liked the book. I’ve got a couple of Carol Goodman’s novels on my shelf to read.
    She was a new to me author so I’m happy with the results.

  3. November 5, 2008 4:41 am

    I’ve read a number of Carol Goodman’s books, but for some reason this one doesn’t seem to be as widely available.

    Thanks for the review.
    I know it’s a fairly new release. I read the ARC version that was released here in the States at the end of August of this year.

  4. November 5, 2008 11:42 am

    I won this in a blog contest awhile back but I haven’t yet had a chance to read it. It sounds very interesting, and I’m curious how the author handles both storylines. Glad you enjoyed the book overall.
    I do love it when authors manage to weave history and modern day together. It’s interesting to see how the past effects the present.

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