I just finished reading A.J. Hartley’s debut novel “The Mask of Atreus”, a kind of archeological thriller that blends some interesting and compelling bits of history with a twisted tale of intrigue & mystery to keep the reader turning pages to the very last.
In it, we follow the protagonist, a strong and likable Deborah Miller, as she finds the murdered body of her boss – the man who established the museum that she runs – among a significant collection of Greek antiquities thought to be the motive of the crime. Missing from the collection is a body, believed to be that of Agamemnon, the Bronze Age king of Mycenae, that was said to have been discovered by German archeologist Schliemann in the 1940’s and recovered from the Nazi’s by an American tank unit at the end of the war.
This story was a gripping series of twist and turns, and while I had surmised who the bad guy was fairly early on, I was completed blindsighted (in a good way!) by the direction the plot took towards the end. Completely entertaining and utterly enjoyable. A fabulous debut that will have me looking for more of Hartley’s work. A great summer mystery, AND, it qualifies for the SMRC hosted by Liz! (That’s three down; three more to go!)