Author: Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
Publication Date: 25 June 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher
The Emerald Tablet by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios features Benedict Hitchens the archaeologist she first introduced readers to in The Honourable Thief. As in that novel Meaghan’s expertise and skill as an archaeologist in the Mediterranean and Middle East and a fine art auctioneer provides great insight and knowledge.
The story is set in the time of the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956 and the novel is interspersed with reports of the international events taken from The Times newspaper. The novel also includes a useful map of the area which I found myself referring to a couple of times to check where the action was taking place in relation to the international events.
In The Emerald Tablet Benedict is reunited on his journey with his friend Ilhan Aslan who featured in The Honourable Thief. Benedict is enjoying a fairly (in his terms) quiet life but when he learns that Eris, (known as Essie Peters in this novel) who betrayed him, is part of a team heading for the Sinai Desert to search for The Emerald Tablet he can’t help himself he has to join the search. He is obsessed with beating her and we soon learn Benedict is on her mind too. While Benedict is still the main character of the novel we learn much more of Essie and her story. I found myself having sympathy for her character and all she has gone through as I learnt more about her background. I found the sexual deviants part of her story a little odd and out of place and to be honest didn’t know what some of the practices referred to are. But decided it’s probably best to remain ignorant and not search the internet for clarification.
This is a fairly violent novel at times, some of the deaths are pretty horrible. However the descriptions of the cities and landscapes are very evocative and I was left with the impression that the Middle East is a fascinating, beautiful and sacred place. Josef Garve, another character from the first novel, is part of the team with Essie and of course getting back at Benedict is also on his agenda. I did enjoy this novel but more so because of learning more about Essie than Benedict and would be keen to read the next novel in the series if it features Essie’s story in greater detail.
Thanks to the Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan Macmillan Australia for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel.
This guest review was submitted by Jacky, one of our Beauty and Lace Club members. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Jacky.
The Emerald Tablet is published by Pan Macmillan and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.
Thanks to Pan Macmillan 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are currently reading The Emerald Tablet and you can read their thoughts on the book in the comments below, please be aware there may be spoilers.
I was brought up on the classics in the UK but now I’m a Pozzie (British by Birth, Australian by choice) I’m enjoying discovering Australian works, we have some terrific storytellers. I’ve been a member of a local book club for a decade or so and that has also widened my choice of reading. I agree wholeheartedly with Stephen King: “Books are a uniquely portable magic”