THE ABOMINATION by Jonathan HOLT (a review)

(guest reviewer)
The Abomination is book one of the Carnivia Trilogy. A woman dressed as a priestess is found dead on a beach in Venice, Italy. Kat Tapo, a Captain in the carabinieri, is trying to keep her place in a male dominated profession while working this murder case (her first one) with her boss, a man named Aldo. 
Holly Bolland, 2nd Lieutenant of the US Army, is based in Italy and charged with investigating a Croatian General regarding his role in his native country's civil war. Bolland's investigation will soon lead her to cross paths with Kat and Aldo.
Carnivia is a huge online world, modeled on Venice, where anyone can create an avatar and have complete privacy (in the Venetian tradition, they all wear masks). This made me think of Michael Crichton’s books, especially Disclosure.

This is a thriller with strong feminist elements: the abuse of women is a strong thread throughout the story, as are the forced prostitution of Croatian women and the fate of women during the Balkan War. The law against the ordination of women by the Church is also a major theme in the story.
There are conspiracies galore in this book, with agents and double agents and maybe even a triple agent (I lost track a little bit there!). As one of the early reviews mentioned, the story "piles the mysteries and twists one on top of the other", but all in a cohesive and well written way. The heroes of the story are fighting an unholy cabal of the CIA, the Church, the State, and the Mafia, so the powers against them are formidable.
One other note; having read Amanda Knox’s story, and having listened to some of the news surrounding her case, I think the author paints an interesting portrait of the prosecutor of the case in The Abomination; one that would lend credence to Amanda Knox’s story that the case against her was all made up.
text by L'Étranger
guest reviewer

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