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"We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate."


~Henry Miller

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The Prisoner of the Riviera

The Prisoner of the Riviera - Janice Law DNF at 66%

I did everything to finish it. I really tried. But I failed.


*I give one star rating to books I DNF.
It is my subjective feeling about the book and has nothing to do with the quality of the writing or the story itself.

What I like:

imageThis book broadened my horizons. I learned a lot about the painter Francis Bacon. BECAUSE I googled a lot after I'd found out that the protagonist of the series was a real person. A British gay painter, Francis Bacon, was a major twentieth-century British artist.
Janice Law took some real chronological facts out of his life and created an imaginary adventure. Hats off to her creativity!

imageIn spite of my personal problems with the book, I can't question the writing skills of this woman. She can write. Period.

Why I couldn't finish it or What were my problems:

imageLet me repeat myself - I don't consider [b:The Prisoner of the Riviera|17912870|The Prisoner of the Riviera (Francis Bacon, #2)|Janice Law|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1382417026s/17912870.jpg|25100618] a gay mystery. We can have long discussions about what kind of book we COULD or not consider a gay mystery, how many sex is allowed in it and if at all. But let me say so: If Miss Marple would have been a real person who loved women, could we consider that Agatha Christie wrote a lesbian mystery without changing ANYTHING in her books? It is exactly what I felt reading Janice Law's series. Yes, the main character is gay, but it WAS ALL. And it is NOT what I expect from MY gay mystery books. I had so great pic of Daniel Craig as Francis Bacon from the film about Francis Bacon, "Love is the Devil", but I didn't have ANY possibility to post it, there weren't EVEN A SINGLE naked scene. What for a shame!* image

imageThe first person POV belongs to my all time favourite way of telling. It is amazing if it well written. It is not easy to write from the first person's POV, it is FUCKING difficult, but if you can....you are the best. Unfortunately it was not a winner here. I had to remind myself that I was reading a first person's POV, it felt like a third person's POV. I knew what the main figure DID at the moment, what he THOUGHT at the moment. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE FELT.
There was always a HUGE emotional distance between me and him.

imageThe mystery was STRANGE. I didn't like it. It felt so old-fashioned. Not because it is a historical mystery - the French Riviera after the WWII, the French Resistance, the gangsters, the cops. But how it was written, how it was told, how it was structured. It was my biggest problem. A lot of illogical chaotic events followed each other. My interest was faded away as the story went on. Up until the point I HAD to stop. It started not bad but it didn't manage to keep my interest.

imageThe major and minor characters. Pale. Fade. Boring. Cute? Maybe. In some way. But they won't turn your world upside down. In any good or bad way.

My conclusion:

A pretty collection of nice words and expressions without any emotional intensity. You could even enjoy it, but it won't make your heart race or blew your soul open or leave deep scars in your memory.

I could recommend it to fans of historical mystery, but I would never recommend it to MM-readers.