The Thai Amulet & The Magyar Venus – Lyn Hamilton

The Thai Amulet (An Archaeological Mystery, #7)

From the Publisher:

“Bangkok, a city of contradictions, where the heady scents of jasmine and frangipane hang in the stifling heat and golden-spired palaces overlook seedy strip clubs. Yet it never fails to inspire Lara’s spirit of adventure, which is why she has agreed to search for a missing antiques dealer while on vacation. Armed with only a fifty-year-old newspaper clipping about a murder and broken terracotta amulets, she heads to his last known address: an apartment overlooking the Chao Phyra river and its rice barges and longtail boats. Above the din of the city, Lara finds little in the eerie silence of his empty apartment. And glaringly absent is a portrait that used to hang there: an image of a woman whose eyes seemed to follow you.” While questioning his friends and neighbors, Lara loses herself in the sights and sounds of Thailand – from the bustling markets of Bangkok to the spiritual calm of a monks’ temple in the northern city of Chiang Mai. What Lara uncovers reveals a deadly conspiracy from the not-so-distant past and a family tragedy – played out right before her unseeing eyes .

My Thoughts:

Lyn Hamilton books are hit or miss for me.  This one was kind of meh.  The plot was promising, but the delivery was not really there.  Too many things going on, the flashback was too close to the current story, and pretty much foreshadowed the ending of the book.  I like the descriptions, as usual the author did a very good job on those.  If she would have cleaned up the plot a bit it would have been more enjoyable.

The Magyar Venus (An Archaeological Mystery, #8)

From the Publisher:

“At loose ends after breaking up with her boyfriend, Lara runs into her old college gang – and begins a night of drinking and disaster. The Dovercourt Divas – named after the road they lived on at the University of Toronto – wind up at an opening at the Cottingham Museum, where Lara’s college flame, Karoly Molnar, is unveiling an extraordinary artifact that will put the Cottingham on the map.” “The Magyar Venus is the head and torso of a woman carved from mammoth ivory during the Upper Paleolithic period. But its appearance causes a mysterious – and distressing – reaction in one of the Divas. And for Lara, the rest of the night is a blur.” “Waking up the next morning, Lara doesn’t remember much. And when she finds out that her friend later committed suicide, she has a horrible feeling that she had something to do with it. Add to that the Divas’ doubts about Molnar and the authenticity of the Venus, and Lara has the biggest headache of her life.” To clear her conscience, she must trace the provenance of the Venus, while keeping the suddenly amorous Molnar at bay. Budapest is her destination. The truth – and peace of mind – are her goal.

My Thoughts:

This book was a total miss.  There was nothing believable about anything written, except maybe the descriptions of the landscapes.  If I didn’t need to count this for a reading challenge I would have given up after the first 20 pages.  The main character was incredibly annoying and naive-I mean, come on, she’s supposed to be a worldly woman who has an accomplished life, and has traveled the world.  For a mature woman she was behaving worse than and had the gullibility of a teenager.  The diary excerpts were completely unnecessary, just like all the flashbacks in the previous books.  Too many characters, not enough development, and a story line which is completely unrealistic.  I want the couple of hours spent reading this back.  Unfortunately for me, I bought more books in this series before reading this one, but I’m not sure if I should even bother.


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