Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Philanthropist's Danse - Paul Wornham

The Philanthropist's Danse is an independently published ebook by new author Paul Wornham. It is a different kind of mystery novel that doesn't follow the whodunnit formula I expected. A seemingly random group of twelve people are assembled after the death of a wealthy philanthropist, each lured by the prospect of getting their hands on an unexpected windfall. Everyone has a connection to the deceased man; some connections are obvious while others seem rather obscure, but that's where the story gets interesting. Their coming together has been highly orchestrated by the deceased philanthropist in his very own Danse Macabre, or Dance of Death.

We quickly come to see that most (but not all) of the characters share the same primal motivation: greed, coupled with an almost vulgar entitlement mentality. While some try to hide their greed behind masks of caring and concern, most of the time their eyes are on the prize. However, we learn that everyone in the Danse has a secret they thought they had kept deeply hidden and that their promised riches will come with a cost attached.

With every twist and turn of the plot, The Philanthropist's Danse becomes a study of human character, or lack thereof, as the prospect of serious wealth comes tantalisingly close - never mind that it is expected and not necessarily 'earned'. The mystery and intrigue increases as the clocks ticks while this ugly human trait bares its teeth, bringing out the worst in almost everybody. Just when you think things are about to be resolved, another complication is added to the mix and events flare up again.

The Philanthropist's Danse is a really enjoyable, character-driven light read and a bargain for your Kindle.

No comments: