Looking for a quick read to really make you think? The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond might be right down your street…
Within the dark heart of an abandoned city lies a terrible secret… Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting elusive images at the request of his eccentric Russian benefactor. When he’s found dead, his protégé, the only attendant at the funeral, finds himself mixed up in a mysterious underworld that had previously entangled Benthem.
His quest to find out what happened to the Golden Orphans, and to uncover the private face behind the public mask that Illerian Prostakov wears, leads the reader into the thrilling, sometimes surreal world of an island like no other, deep into the troubled past of its people: a nation split in two by invasion and embattled by organised crime.
An all-round good concept for a book
I wouldn’t really see The Golden Orphans as a ‘dark, fast-paced thriller’, which is what it’s advertised as. My heart was definitely racing at times, but I felt that was more towards the meaning and poetic side of the story.
It moved quite quickly near the end, and I feel for it to be marketed as a thriller, it really needed to be longer with more twists and turns.
But saying this, I would still say it’s a wonderful read. Perhaps not a thriller, but a soft-thriller, if that’s a thing? It does get dark on occasions, but more in a literary sense. I wasn’t spooked or had to hide under my covers, but some parts were really thought-provoking.
I really enjoyed lots of aspects of this book – the relationship growing between the main character and Cyprus, and Raymond’s way of writing.
It does get slightly puzzling at times, but it is quickly revived. The Golden Orphans would be a really great holiday read – small enough to put in your suitcase, but one that will keep you entertained.
An all-round good concept for a book, I just wish it was slightly longer, so the ending didn’t feel so rushed.
Bookmark That approved, for a quick holiday read.
The Golden Orphans, Gary Raymond, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository
Publisher: Parthian Books
Genre: Thriller/ Contemporary Fiction