Thursday, 8 January 2015

Lead Tin Yellow by Doug Gunnery

Lead Tin Yellow by Doug Gunnery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a brilliant piece of work, weaving a tale around a multitude of layers - human emotions, intrigue, drama and adventure. When Robin hears of his father's death, his remorse, sadness and emptiness are overcome by a deeper feeling of bewildered puzzlement. Robin is taken aback when he learns that his father flung a bunch of old newspapers off a bridge just before he died. Having no clue about what the newspapers held, and whether those papers proved fatal to his father in any way, he sets off, determined to get to the bottom of this. What starts off as a sober adventure soon becomes a nightmare for Robin, with him meeting foes in various forms - what he is unsure of is whether these were the people behind his father's death. Not one to be shaken off, he stays in pursuit. He is aided by his squabbling partner and his reluctant half-brother. Inexperienced, oblivious to and unaware of all the evils, can this unlikely trio understand what transpired, is what this book takes us through.

I was very impressed with the storyline and the way the author deftly manages to switch from one mode to another - an intense nail-biting chase, suddenly ensued by a heart-wrenching emotional moment for Robin. The author's command of the language is commendable. The pace of was very brisk and very engaging. The characterisation was handled very well - one gets to deeply emote for the long-dead Robin's father, who lives in the book only in memories and findings. I found Robin's father's character so captivating, the things he was trying to protect, the system he was unafraid of, and how even when breathing his last, he was so selfless, that he manages to find his way into the reader's mind and evolve into a full-fledged entity.

Overall, this was a brilliant read, and I definitely recommend this to lovers of mystery and adventures.

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Book Summary:

Robin was stunned! Why should his father chuck a bag of old newspapers over a bridge moments before he was shot? He was just a retired small-town engineer, so what secret was he hiding? He had lived all his life in a small Midwestern town and led a dull, gray-flannel life. The police were curious too. There was a ghastly murder on their hands.

When Robin found a key with a tag in his raincoat he knew his father had deliberately secreted it for him. Now he had a clue, but where would this take him? There was something his father wanted him to know, and he had to get there before the police. It was now between him, his father, and his killers.

The secret lay in Robin’s discovery of how lead and tin were combined by sixteenth-century artists to make a brilliant yellow. In his pursuit of his father’s killers, Robin puts his journalistic career on hold to enter a world of corporate thugs, unrequited love, and medieval art.

He pursued his quarry, just as his quarry pursued him, from the East Coast to the Midwest to Quebec and back. His partner, a high-end fashion designer, and his quarrelsome but astute half-brother step up to fill in the blanks that help Robin get closer to his target. Events build up to a dramatic climax at which point Robin and the police have identical interests. The showdown is on the same bridge on which Robin’s father was shot.

In his lifetime, Robin hardly knew his reticent father. But after his death, as he unpeeled his father’s life, he got to know of the courage and affection this man was capable of. A grave tragedy helps a near-dysfunctional family to rekindle an absent affection that should have always been there."

About the author:

Doug Gunnery is a professional academic who has taught in universities in Europe, America and India. In between his academic commitments, he worked for eight years in an established international audit firm. He was also associated for a while with one of the leading fashion houses of France. Currently. he serves on a number of boards, including that of his country's Central Bank. He now lives in New Delhi with his wife; their son continues to work in New York.

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