Monday, February 9, 2015
In Flames by Richard Hilary Weber (thoughts)
"San Iñigo is a jewel of the Caribbean, a playground paradise for the foreign elite, a hell for unfortunate locals. For recent Princeton grad Dan Shedrick, San Iñigo promises the fulfillment of too many desires.
Dan hires on at a powerful American firm as a junior architect, but still finds time for tennis, booze, a reckless affair with the sexy wife of a resort owner—even a bit of reconnaissance for the U.S. cultural attaché. But soon he discovers that nothing on San Iñigo is without consequence. When a much-loved local radio personality is found on a beach with his head blown off, Dan’s lover becomes a suspect. And not long after his foray into espionage, he’s dragged away on a brutal journey into the heart of darkness.
Buffeted by aggression, depraved ritual, and personal betrayal, Dan discovers fierce truths about San Iñigo . . . and himself. In the island’s forbidding mountain jungle, his life goes up in flames—a deadly inferno that will forever change him, if he survives at all."
This was a very unique reading experience for me. I spent the majority of the book not quite knowing for sure what was going on exactly. That sounds like a bad thing but surprisingly it wasn't. In fact, for me it was actually a compelling reason not to put this book down. This book is written in a way that gave me lots of questions with answers there were far and few between. That makes it sound like the book was confusing but it wasn't. It was the "why's" behind everything that was happening that left me guessing constantly and reading continuously. Let me give you an example: when Daniel gets to the island he realizes from the very beginning that he is an outsider compared to the other country club members on the resort where he is staying. The why he is such an outsider though is a question that is constant throughout the book. I'm not sure that Daniel every fully understands what separates him from the others. All of these different questions added a layer of intrigue to the book. There are lots of other examples but I don't want to give any spoilers away so I'll leave it at that.
Daniel's character wasn't the most likeable yet it didn't bother me like it would in most books. I just kept reading as I needed to see what was going to happen next. By the end of the book I still didn't have him figured out but I don't think that I was meant to. Because really, none of the characters and their motivations were ever fully explained. It worked for me because even now I have been thinking about everything that happened. This book has stuck with me and left me pondering.....I would really have loved the chance to discuss this one with other readers.
Overall, this book was a strange yet compelling read. I'm finding it hard to really explain my thoughts in a coherent fashion so my apologies. If you are looking for a fast read with more questions then answers, give this one a try. Trust me when I say that the ending will surprise you. It wasn't what I expected at all. Definitely interesting, at times frustrating. Recommended!
Bottom Line: A unique a book that left me thinking about it for some time after.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of a TLC Book Tour. Thoughts are my own.