Title: The Honourable Thief
Author: Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
Published: July 31st 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Adventure
Rating: 3.5 stars
Istanbul, Turkey 1955
Benedict Hitchens, once a world-renowned archaeologist, is now a discredited – but still rather charming – shell of his former self.
Once full of optimism and adventure, his determination to prove that Achilles was a real historical figure led him to his greatest love, Karina, on the island of Crete and to his greatest downfall, following the disappearance of an enigmatic stranger, Eris.
He has one last chance to restore his reputation, solve the mystery of Eris and prove his Achilles theory. But it is full of risk, and possibly fatal consequences…
The Honourable Thief, written by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios who is best known as the co-author of The Water Diviner, is a historical adventure for fans of archaeology and classic mythology. Set in the preceding years and following after World War II, it tracks the risky undertakings of Benedict Hitchens, a once respected archaeologist, now in disgrace, in his determined quest to uncover the truth behind the myth of Achilles.
Benedict Hitchens is a man with an obsession. This archaeologist is out to prove that Achilles, previously only known as a myth, really did exist. The problem is Benedict has been discredited and no one will back his theory. However, Benedict refuses to give up or give in. Armed with plenty of determination and enthusiasm, he embarks on an adventure that will take him across the Mediterranean region. It is an adventure that involves also involves solving the disappearance of a figure known as Eris. Benedict must work to prove his Achilles theory, help close the Eris mystery and avoid the risks that seem to be headed his way. It is a perilous but essential pathway that Benedict must follow.
With a promotional tagline that states, ‘Dan Brown meets Indiana Jones in this action packed historical adventure by bestselling co-author of The Water Diviner’, I was immediately intrigued by this quite different from the norm sounding novel. Although I am not a fan of Dan Brown, Indiana Jones draws some nostalgic appeal and I did enjoy The Water Diviner. I was keen to see how the author of The Honourable Thief, Meghan Wilson Anastasios would present on her own, as this is her first individual release. Overall, I found The Honourable Thief an engaging and complex adventure style novel, which is also marks a departure from the books I usually read.
A good place to begin in giving an overview The Honourable Thief would be to start with the lead, Benedict Hitchens. Benedict is an archaeologist, a line of work I personally find very interesting. I was keen to learn more about this fascinating field of work. I was immediately intrigued by Benedict, both in his career and personal life issues. He is a rather hard to like, but he is undoubtedly a single-minded and determined soul. Benedict’s journey throughout the novel is a colourful one, filled with fixation, love, passion, hope, redemption, and plenty of moments of peril. I am confident that Benedict is the type of lead that will hold widespread appeal, despite his flaws.
The narrative approach employed by Meghan Wilson Anastasios in The Honourable Thief is quite complicated and I found it took some time for me to get adjusted to the writing style employed by the author. The different time frames and narrative divisions definitely challenged me! But, once you have the upper hand on the narrative threads and adopt some persistence, it does start to fall into place. The pace is constant and the action continues in a forward motion, along with a good lashing of narrative twists. I am sure this will pull in those Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly and Indiana Jones adventure fans! There is an unexpected twist that comes up at the last minute in this novel, which will challenge readers further.
The Honourable Thief has a fantastic setting. Anastasios provides a vivid provocation of Turkey, Crete and surrounds. These parts provided for some smooth reading material. The central theory test over the existence of Achilles provided plenty of speculation, along with the disappearance of the mysterious Eris. History buffs, particular those with a strong interest in ancient history, will be sure to lap up the descriptions of geography, culture, history and classic mythology. The extent to which Anastasios has researched her main subject matter deserves applause.
Meghan Wilson Anastasios presents a rich and historically infused action, crossed with a high adventure novel. A problematic lead, with a strong desire to solve an age old theory, ensures the events of the novel travel in a forward motion. The archaeology elements incorporated within the book makes The Honourable Thief a solid piece of investigative fiction. Readers have plenty to draw from in The Honourable Thief, it is an original and bracing novel.
The Honourable Thief by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios was published on 31st July 2018 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Honourable Thief, Meaghan Wilson Anastasios, visit here.
I wish to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
The Honourable Thief is book #89 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge