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Very well writen but how well is it researched?
am 2. Juni 2015
First things first: it’s a great read, a real page turner. The structure is incredibly complicated yet you’re never confused. The history of the main characters is described in excessive detail yet you’re never bored. It’s masterful how the author switches between the interweaving story lines, jumps through time and space, but never loses track of the story. The characters are believable and even the story makes more sense than in most spy-novels – which of course isn’t saying much.
I really which I could end the review here but there is one major aspects that isn’t quite so great: the research of details. Now I’m no expert on virology, nor do I know the particularities of the global surveillance technology or the topography of rural Afghanistan, so others have to judge on the accuracy of the description of those topics crucial to the story. For me though, the problem comes with the details: There just is no such thing as a golden Rolex “the size of a microwave” (most of them are considered small by todays standard, the largest ones are about average in size), an illegal immigrant cannot just start working at a major corporation in Germany and with a Lebanese passport you can’t just cross the border at Frankfurt airport, you need a Schengen visa for that. I could go on, but my point is this: if the author gets these little details – that are common knowledge or at least easy to research – wrong, than I loose confidence in the description of all the things I know nothing about, which makes the otherwise interesting story completely implausible.
Make no mistake, it’s still a great book. What is sad though is that it could be even better if the author would have paid more attention to details that could have been fixed easily.