The Lake of Dead Languages (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

The Lake of Dead Languages - Carol Goodman A disappointing, predictable novel made doubly frustrating because all the elements of a much better book are here. When "The Lake of Dead Languages" focuses on character and setting, and rouses Latin and Roman mythology to encourage the plot, the book is a success -- but major plot points and revelations are telegraphed to the reader sometimes as soon as characters are introduced, and any genuine spark of mystery is quickly doused. Completing the book becomes more of an exercise than reading should ever be -- and once the loose ends, if there ever were any, are tied, we glimpse a better story, richer characters, and a more promising premise than what the previous hundred pages would have us suffer through.For successful takes on similar themes, try Donna Tartt's The Secret History or Hilary Mantel's An Experiment in Love.