An exceptionally well crafted mystery that moves between the last days of the First World War and modern day Edinburgh, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing by Mary Paulson-Ellis is a densely layered story that slowly unfurls and reveals the tragedy at its heart.
The titular character, Solomon Farthing is a down on his heels professional Heir Hunter, a man who makes his living tracking down lost family members of those believed to have died without an heir, in exchange for a percentage of the inheritance. When a large sum of cash is found sewn into the lining of an elderly man's burial suit, the hunt is on, and this hunt will take Solomon back almost a hundred years to an abandoned farmhouse in France, in the last weeks of the so called "Great " War where a group of men are waiting for their orders and passing the time by gambling away what little treasures they possess. As Solomon chases down various leads he finds a more personal connection to the case than he ever expected.
The author has a great skill in bringing the settings of her story to life on the page, be it the hustle of Edinburgh or the sleepy French countryside, and her characters are all well crafted. I found the sections of the story set in the past particularly emotional, seeing the scars of what the men , some no more than boys had already been through, their acceptance of their fate, and their simple hopes and dreams for the future. There is a real eloquence in the way she tells their story that makes it incredibly moving. The pacing is definitely a little on the slower side, especially in the first part of the book, but I think that is necessary to set up the rest of the story , and once the story starts to unravel it is gripping. While the character of Solomon is not exactly likeable , there is still something appealing about him, and his hunt for the truth.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
- Audio CD
- Publisher: Bolinda/Macmillan audio; Unabridged edition (1 October 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1529030056
- ISBN-13: 978-1529030051
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.4 x 12.2 cm
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