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Death in Malta by Rosanne Dingli

Death+in+MaltaMalta is a small, and I mean small, country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Its location is about 60 miles south of Sicily off the boot of Italy. The country is often a dot on maps and many have not really heard of the country. People may not even realize that the Maltese Cross is a symbol used for Veterans of Foreign Wars and often by Fireman. It’s an island I have a lot of interest in due to its rich and fascinating history and the fact my father was from the country.

Thus when I saw author Rosanne Dingli’s book, Death in Malta, I know I’d want to read the book. As I read the description of the book and saw a character shared the same last name as me, Micallef, I knew I had to read the novel even more. As I read the novel I came to find that Micallef is not the only name found in multiples within the Maltese phone book.

Death in Malta will take the reader into the world of fictional author Gregory Worthington as he comes to Malta to write his next great novel. Worthington is a writer of suspense novels and has the ability to write vivid stories that disturb some, and one of those people is his estranged wife Maggie.

As Worthington gets settled on the main island he will find himself meeting many within the small village he chose to live in. These people range from the local bar keeper, the local clergy and the blacksmith. The great thing about Malta’s past for this Australian author is at one time the country was a British Protectorate, thus many speak English. This will help him with the people, and eventually lead him to a story. A story that he will find is right underneath the roof of the small home he rents.

There is a story within the village of a young boy who one day just disappeared.  This is something that is a rare occurrence on the island and especially in a small village. People searched for the boy and he was never found. Worthington will use this as a basis of his book as he learns about the homes previous occupants. A simple wine maker and his wife who seemed a bit mad, and who had one point may have harmed her eldest son. A woman who was heard yelling at the boy leading to run from home for long stretches at a time to avoid her wrath.  She even went as far as locking the boy within a dark underground storage area to teach him a lesson. It’s this mystery that gets the writers creative blood boiling and will lead him down a path; he should possibly lie within the history of the islands.

Among the people the writer meets will be Doctor Phineas Micallef who has moved to the small village as he escaped one of the larger cities. The question will be did he escape or was he forced to leave. At a social gathering at the doctor’s home he will meet a woman, Patricia, who will take his breath away. She will help him explore the island more, help him find himself, and help him learn more about Maltese culture.

The book has no real time frame mentioned but as Worthington’s computer seems to have a dot matrix printer it must have been in the 1970’s or early 1980’s.  You get the understanding of the type of printer when there are references to perforated sheets from the printer and need to tear pages apart. This does not distract at all from the story and just puts it into a bit of perspective.

Author Rosanne Dingli does a tremendous job in pointing out the culture of many of the Maltese people. She also takes the reader deep into the psyche of the people and the customs on the islands. You will find yourself marveling at the people and what could be their “quaint” customs. You learn about the homes, festivals and most importantly the way they drive. I say this as I witnessed some of those driving skills on a visit to the island and it can cause a passenger to be a bit nervous.  The use of the busses is also mentioned and they are just as reliable and inexpensive today as the period of the book.

What really comes through in this book is not just a love of Malta, but for Worthington’s love of his homeland Australia. Dingli does a beautiful job of telling the readers about both countries, never truly painting either in a bad light. You get the feeling either place is one you would want to visit or live. As you read about the travels and searching for truth on the main characters story you wonder what happened to the boy. You discover the great character devlopment and find some great interactions and how one culture can differ from another.  You wonder about the reactions of others within the book and what mysteries may lay under the earth of this small country that is so full of history why did he chose this story. The only way to find out is to read Death in Malta, and the great addition to the novel is at times we get a peek into the story that Worthington is writing which adds to the suspense of the book.

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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Reviews

 

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Labor Day, Falling Behind and Crickets.

Labor Day is a period that many workers across the United States get a day off in celebration of labor. I was one of those many people that had the day off, and with good planning had Friday previous off too. So what does this mean?

It means I fell a bit behind in my reading, blog work as the 40 hour a week job sure had same demands on one less work day. So, instead of posting a book review this week has been quite. You’d say crickets invaded the blog with the silence coming from my end. Thus it’s time to scare the crickets away, dust away the cobwebs and clear the mind.

I’m going to share with you the books I currently have in my readers list for the blog so you can see what I’m reading.

Death+in+MaltaDeath in Malta is Author Rosanne Dingli’ first novel. This is one book I contacted the author about a review as it is set in Malta. My father’s family is from the small island and one of the characters shares my last name of Micallef.

Here is the Book Description from Amazon:

Disillusioned and depressed, Gregory Worthington sets off from Perth in search of inspiration. He arrives in Malta full of resolve to reignite a flagging writing career. Quaint surroundings, the potential of a love affair, and the antics and warm-heartedness of villagers he befriends fuel his imagination, but his writing brings him more disquiet and confusion than he could anticipate.

What is inspiration, and what is the reality behind the disappearance of little Censinu Mifsud, a ten year-old boy who was never found? There is a twenty year-old secret in the village, one Worthington resolves to unravel, to turn into a novel, despite warnings from a retired doctor and the antagonistic parish priest. They are ambiguous about his involvement with a young Maltese woman, but are very clear about one thing: the author has no business nosing around his old rented farmhouse, looking for clues and disturbing the past.

Poignant and moving,
punctuated by comical scenes and passionate
interludes, Death in Malta is a powerful novel of love and loss,
disappointment and dislocation – curiosity and consequences

 

The next two are listed in no special order.

People of MarsAuthor Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli has released her second book in her science fiction series, “Red Desert”, titled People of Mars. This is on my electronic book stack as one of the upcoming reviews.

Description here is from Goodreads:
After 995 days on Mars, the enthusiasm of the Isis crew has turned into frustration and intolerance. Their research hasn’t provided the hoped for outcomes, the resources at their disposal are insufficient, and NASA had previously cancelled the launch of a second mission, which would have brought more colonisers and equipment to the planet.
Relationships among the five members of the expedition have become difficult. Station Alpha is home to a complex web of conflicts, secrets, alliances, and rivalries.
Now a new launch window is about to open, but the news from Houston isn’t reassuring at all. While the finding of a possible ice sac might give a positive turn to the events, Anna, embittered by the unusual behaviour of Robert and the cold war against Hassan, is considering the opportunity to return to Earth.
When death strikes amongst the five inhabitants of Mars, Anna finds her only possible choice is a solitary escape.
But Mars has got an incredible discovery in store for her, a key to a mystery hidden in the depths of Valles Marineris.

The first book is “Red Desert – Point of No Return”.
The third book, “Red Desert – Invisible Enemy” (a novel), will be published at the beginning of 2015.

Note for the reader: this book is written in British English.

 

Sun GodThe remaining book in my stacks is by author Elliot Baker and titled, The Sun God’s Heir.

Description again from Amazon:

When an ancient evil awakens, one young pacifist is all that stands between the world’s freedom and the red tide of slavery.

In 17th century France, a young pacifist kills to protect the woman he loves, unwittingly opening a door for the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian general determined to continue a reign of terror begun three thousand years ago.

Taking up the sword will not be enough. Rene must reclaim his own ancient past to stop the red tide of slavery from engulfing the world.

Joined by a powerful sheikh, his sword wielding daughter, and a family of Maranos escaping the Spanish Inquisition, they fight their way through pirates, typhoons, and dark assassins to reach Morocco, the home of an occult sect that has waited for Rene through the eons.

 

I should point out and thank Julianne Snow at Siren’s Call Publications for sharing with me a LARGE number of the books the company has published. I plan on reading more of those books and fitting many into the blog after I finish those listed above. I will not be stopping taking any further requests for reviews, but just a note one of the Siren’s Calls books may be reviewed first.

Now, followers you are up to date on what has kept me from reviewing the last week, and what I have planned to come. Here’s looking forward to the review of Death in Malta next week and more to come.

Here’s how you can contact or follow me:

 

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Reviews

 

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