Hieronymous Tosh – The Bosch Deception by Alex Connor

boschI’ve talked before about my uneasiness at tearing into a book, especially if I haven’t paid for it. Occasionally though I read something so terrible that discretion is thrown out of the window. It’s been a tough few months, I’ve read a string of mediocre books and now I read this, a book that might represent then nadir of popular fiction. I’m afraid The Bosch Deception is going to get it. Both barrels.

Compared to The Bosch Deception, the Da Vinci code is a literary masterpiece. It gave me an appreciation that a terrible book still needs some qualities to make it readable.

This book might be a sequel. If it isn’t then it’s doubly bad, because the backstory is so hamfistedly written, I felt like I’d missed great chunks of information.  The Bosch Deception has being written with short chapters, presumably because the author heard that this injects pace and excitement into a story.

If you break your
writing in ran
dom
Places thou
gh, the effec
t is rather
ruined.

The story is about as exciting as old public information films. The main conjecture is that Bosch might not have painted all of his pictures. Through the use of a series of secret note fragments we learn Bosch may have died much earlier and the church passed off pictures painted in his style as genuine articles. This shattering revelation would, apparently, shock the Catholic Church. Considering the scandal the church deals with on a roughly daily basis, I’m not sure this would have give even the most idealist of cardinals much pause.

The art world? Yeah now they might be a bit more interested in this information, and the mysterious notes written by Bosch that are found in the story. They would cause a stir. And so indentikit villainous art dealers step up to beat each other to a bloody pulp.

So there is a mystery, are the notes genuine, are they not? Is the killer motivated by money or fanatical devotion to the pope? Throw in some dodgy priests, references to abuse and you have all the making of a clichéd conspiracy thriller. Yawn!

I read to the end, though I’m not sure why. I used to read a lot more of this sort of stuff, but found after the Da Vinci Code publishers were prepared to publish any old Brown stuff. Previous books by this author have garnered positive reviews online, so this stuff clearly has an audience. Perhaps my expectations are too high…but then plots that make sense, characters who aren’t clichés and a modicum of excitement, don’t really seem too much to ask.

Thanks to Lauren at Quercus for sending me a copy of this book. Sorry I didn’t like it very much….

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