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The Splintered Circle by Ruby Stone - Review **

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Interesting Mystery Set in Britain and the Channel Islands

Raif Condor is tasked with finding several mysterious stone fragments for an old man named Max. The fragments are the key to unlock something of great value. Trouble is, even Max doesn't know the location of the final piece, and he desperately wants to resolve some unanswered questions before he dies. Fleur Fern is the employee of a private detective agency, investigating the disappearance of a woman's husband. Her duties find her on the Channel Island of Guernsey, where her aunt Marie owns a small cottage.
While Raif begins to wonder if his latest client has put him in danger, Fleur learns of her recently deceased aunt's forbidden love affair with a German soldier during the occupation of Guernsey in World War II. As the events of The Splintered Circle unfold, it becomes clear that Raif and Fleur must meet in order to finally solve the mystery of the stone fragments.

The Splintered Circle is a neat and interesting story, a low-key drama with a bit of mystery that is amusing from time to time. Unfortunately, it suffers from poor execution and a disappointing conclusion.
The stone fragments, their combination, and their purpose are all centered around a really cool idea (sorry, I won't give it away). Ruby Stone's writing style is quite pleasing and very detail-oriented but not to the point of being boring. She does a good job of keeping the intrigue up, and even after the purpose of the stone circle is revealed, the mystery has not reached its conclusion. Her detailed writing brings out the atmosphere of the varied locations within the book, and she does a good job of exploring the complexities of relationships.
Considering all the effort put into small details during the bulk of the story, the final chapter is rushed, somewhat confusing, and leaves a few unanswered questions. It is an unsatisfying conclusion that doesn't fit well with the rest of the book. Although each character has their own personality, they all seem to have some degree of a sour attitude. Lastly, the past perfect form of had is used way too much in several sections of the book, sometimes two, three, or more times in one sentence. It is too distracting and could have been resolved by simply adding a date to the beginning of the "flashback" type sections and then writing in simple past tense.

The novel is written in British English. People used to American English will notice a horrendous lack of commas, although this doesn't impact understanding the story. There are some unfamiliar terms, such as the "boot" of a car rather than the "trunk", "knackered" car, "peroxide" hair, dried "pulses", "jacket spuds", and keeping "schtum", all of which can be looked up easily online. I was a bit alarmed when Max tucked a "torch" into his pants! Turns out it's just a flashlight.
There are also a few curse words.
Please note that I did not count either of these aspects against the novel when deciding my rating.

Click here for some neat information about Guernsey

Please visit Ruby Stone's Pinterest page for beautiful images of some of the places described in the book.

The Splintered Circle

Genre: Mystery

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this blog are mine alone and are not necessarily the views of Yesod Publications, this website, or any of its members.

Updated 01-06-2013 at 07:58 PM by Nikki

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