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A Richer Dust Concealed

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Member Reviews

As a lover of history I like the authors story on a treasure to find in Cyprus. I particularly like the description of Venice and it’s sights.The history is excellent covering ancient times and the  First World War.I would recommend it to anyone who likes a. Treasure seaking  mystery .
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A great premise, and love a bit of medieval history and treasure-seeking, but this one fell a little short for me.

The story follows four main characters as their lives are changed, during a backpacking trip around Europe, when one of them buys a mysterious journal that claims to contain a code to the whereabouts of a lost medieval treasure.  At different times, various members of the group attempt to solve the code, while others are less interested.  The story switches between them as they each narrate parts of the story, as well as switching between journal entries and medieval accounts.

I enjoy a bit of art, and history, and love a good quest, throw in a bit of code-breaking, or mystery and I'm happy, but I think the main let-down with this was that, unlike other books with a similar storyline, this one was a single puzzle.  The characters didn't really have to travel to different locations to solve anything, the code was in the book they picked up at the beginning, and, once the code was cracked, the mystery was over.  The key to the code was also revealed early on in the book, so I, the reader knew it, but the characters didn't, so I had to read about each of the three people working it out independently through their own accounts, which got a bit repetitive.

As there was no action, or movement in order to solve the riddle, the rest was padded out with either differing accounts of the same events (as mentioned above), or in the characters' relationships with life and with each other.  As most of the characters were unlikable, or not very well represented, this lost me, I'm afraid.  

I know mystery action thrillers with male protagonists tend to have women as side characters, sometimes it makes sense, sometimes less so, but the female characters seemed dated (noticing fashion when being kidnapped, getting teary when reading historical documents unrelated to them personally, or else flying off the handle when someone was relating a historical event as it was too gruesome to bear!), they are described in terms of breasts and eye size/colour/shape, and do not aid the quest, it is the three male characters who are intrigued by it and do some code-breaking.  One of the male characters is both dismissive, and at times, outright abusive to the female characters, preferring them silent, emotionless, and sexy, ideally with large breasts - if he was supposed to be loathsome, it would make sense, but most of the other characters like him, and he often gets rewarded for his behaviour rather than being vilified for it, he, in particular, made me almost put it down a few times, but I persevered for review purposes.  The first narrator I didn't mind so much, and he seemed to have the sense to dislike the dismissive, pompous, abusive Julius at first, but seemed to change his mind in the end, and couldn't think of a reason that he disliked him so much other than they'd liked the same woman.  In  general, though, I would have preferred it if he had been the main protagonist and narrator all the way through.

There is also no real threat, you don't really get the feeling that there's any time pressure, or terrible consequences around the corner: the shadowy 'Ten' do not really do anything until the quest is over, and even then, they're there, then they disappear.

Again, I think most of the issues above would probably have been less apparent had there been multiple puzzles within the larger quest, or if the characters had needed to do something other than circle each other, deal with their relationships, and separately crack the same single piece of code.  

Despite this, the book was well-paced, the writing engaging, and the history itself really interesting, and I did like  the fact that the mystery is open for the reader to solve themselves, which doesn't always happen.  I read it all the way through in a pretty short space of time, so it's a quick read, and I see from other reviews that it has been really well liked by others,
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What began as a promising ride into a Dan Brown style mystery festered into a regular high school heavy breathing romance, and then kind of lost its charm for me. I didn't like this one, sorry, I really wanted to!
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Thoroughly enjoyed this historical suspense novel! On the edge of my seat trying to figure out just who did it!
I found this book to have a slow start but it soon took me on an adventure of a lifetime!  In depth characters, including one you just can’t like, bring you on an amazing tour of Venice giving you an “in the city” experience.  
Adventure, suspense, relationships, intrigue, this excellent novel has it all.

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for allowing me to review this exciting novel!
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I truely enjoyed this historical mystery that carried through the ages.  I enjoyed the descriptions of Venice and longed to travel with the characters in story.
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I really enjoyed this book which was full of intrigue, history and a fast paced narrative. I particularly enjoyed the characters travels through Italy and found the descriptions of Florence and Venice very authentic. It is one of those books that could be revisited and would transfer well to film. The only small criticism I have were some of the ‘bedroom’ scenes described by the author which for me, felt awkward and out of place in the overall style of the book. Having said that, I would definitely recommend this for anyone who enjoys history, travel and a mystery puzzle to solve.
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I enjoyed this one. Suspense, history, travel...
I liked the pseudo autobiographical style which added a touch of authenticity to the narrative. The shifts in time and space were handled well, as were the multiple narrators. This is the kind of book that you may want to read a second time so that you notice the hidden clues you missed out on the first time. The long explanations regarding code breaking was a tad boring for me (I hate math) and I skipped through. 
Overall, a good read.
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I appreciate the publisher allowing me to read this book. I found the story really interesting and it kept me guessing until the end.
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Really enjoyed this well crafted novel with interesting characters, twists and turns. Having inter-railed around Italy, at around the same time found it very convincing. It's not fair to make comparisons but a real Da Vinci Code, type book set in a different period (and actually,  rather more plausible.)

For publisher; the ARC version had a lot of problems with the formatting, I'm assuming it will be OK in the proper ebook.
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Right from the start, this book pulled me in and I couldn’t seem put it down! Yes,  it is reminiscent of Dan Brown books, however it holds a uniqueness all its own. I thought that the author did a good job with character development, creating characters that were likeable and relatable and those that were not. The story spans four centuries, which I really enjoyed, and was narrated by individuals from those places - Cyprus, London, Rome and Venice. Highly recommended. Such a fun read!!
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A group of students are inter-railing around Europe and one of them, John comes across an intriguing old Italian book, complete with a naive translation of the text in the form of a notebook, that sets off a trail of code breaking and danger. The original author of the old book, Girolamo Polidoro, was a servant in 1570, in Cyprus, when he is witness to a treasure being hidden that the Turks are desperate to get their hands on. 

This book is told from several points of view, from Girolamo Polidoro writing a moving account of the siege of Famagusta, to Patrick nearly losing his mind trying to crack the code left by Girolamo, to the shady Italian determined to get both books back whatever the cost.  I liked the premise of this novel, the descriptions of Venice and Cyprus were good, and add in a code, I’d hoped to thoroughly enjoy this. For me there seemed to be quite a bit of repetition over certain bits of the plot, and also the code breaking went a bit too deep. I couldn’t relate to the modern day characters but empathised with the others.  It had a couple of twists that I didn’t expect and a fairly satisfying ending. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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A Richer Dust Concealed by R P Nathan
A Richer Dust Concealed spans four centuries. The story revolves around the Holy Cross of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. During the age of the invading Turkish army, the artefact is buried in Cyprus in 1570, mainly to hide it from the invading Turks.
Girolamo Polidoro is a Venetian squire who witnesses the burial, and the secret hiding place of the Holy Cross is something that he must not forget. Polidoro writes a diary and leaves it in Venice. At the end of which is a coded message of the Holy Relics whereabouts.
During the first world war, an English code-breaker, Henry Shaeffer, comes across the diary in 1915 but unfortunately dies in Gallipoli. The World War I battle fought in Turkey between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire. The secret is safe, for now. But what no one realises is that the secret Venetian Council of Ten has also been searching for the Holy Cross.
When John, one of six young backpackers, travelling around Italy looking for a gift for his friend Sarah, he is asked if he would like to buy the diary of Girolamo Polidoro and with it, the translation and notebook of Henry Shaeffer. So when John buys that book in Rome in 1992, little does he realise, what he has in his possession is the infamous diary. And he has no idea of the peril he has just put himself. 
Now a hunt for the treasure begins, but will the secret Council of Ten allow John to continue?

The main characters are obviously very realistic and have a less complicated feel to them. The plot is clever without being overly complicated neither, is it too predictable. There’s mystery and intrigue in the story without losing itself into fantasy land.
As a historical mystery thriller, I thought it was excellent. It made me take time out to read up the Council of Ten, and I found the whole thing very interesting. In fact, the entire book proved the author did his research exceptionally well. 
The author paints a vivid picture of Venice. It comes alive in his book. The first-hand experience does tend to go a long way. The novel's strength lies in all the factual evidence, and the fact the author has made it available for the reader to view gives the author the story credibility.
I found A Richer Dust Concealed a much easier book to read than many books of a similar ilk. It wasn't too fast-paced, yet it didn't appear pedestrian either.
R P Nathan has written a cracking novel, and hopefully, it will get the praise it deserves.
I would recommend this to anyone who is into mystery thrillers and likes a little problem-solving.
Thank you Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for the digital copy.
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A group of university students backpacking in Italy become friends (or frenemies) as they share the story of a holy relic buried and hidden centuries prior. With the help of a journal and an ancient memoir containing a cipher, the search for this golden, gem-encrusted cross captivates, and wholly-consumes, these students over the course of the next twenty years. Mystery, secrets, unknown assailants, and double-crossing lead to an ending not expected. Thank you to Net Galley for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I love puzzles, mystery and history, but the puzzle was a bit over my head, the history a bit repetitive. Not quite my reading.
Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for letting me read this for my honest opinion.
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318 pages

2 stars

I did not finish this book. It started out so awful. I stuck with it until twenty per cent and couldn't take it anymore. 

We have some college grads touring Europe and salivating over various girls (yuk). One wanders into a bookstore looking for a gift for a girl he has a crush on and spends one hundred pounds on a book in Italian (he doesn't read Italian), and a soldier's supposed translation of the journal. The book is supposed to be four hundred years old, but it evidently is not. 

The text of the book wanders and is inserted with quotes from the soldier's journal without warning. The transitions are very poor. The writing and plotting are also weak. The juvenile behavior of the two men who are supposed to be preparing for their doctoral theses is abhorrent. 

I won't be looking for this author's next book.
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I could not put this book down and devoured it in just over a day. It put me in mind of the films National Treasure and of course Dan Browns books but as the characters are English they were more relatable. This is a brilliant read told from different view points over  a period of 400 years, covering London, Rome ,Cyprus and Venice. The descriptions of Venice in particular are that good that I could believe myself talking through the streets, the mystery is well constructed and brought to life a period I rarely read about including the Turks invading Cyprus. This is a outstanding read and I will look out for more books by this author.
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