The Dante Club 2003 detective book

The Dante Club 2003 detective story

The Dante Club (2003, United States)

In 19th century Boston, Chief Justice Artemus Healey, who had avoided taking a position to stop or support the slaves escaping from the South, is found dead. There is no doubt it was a murder - he was hit on the head and left in his garden to be eaten alive by maggots and stung by hornets. As it turns out it is only the first murder in a series, which will shock the local society. The Dante Club, a group of poets working on translating the Dante’s Divine Comedy to English, begin to notice that some of the details of those murders are strangely similar to the punishments detailed in Dante’s Inferno. While they try to figure out who could use this book as a inspiration for murders, they have to keep their investigation hush-hush. After all, they would be the primary suspects, as experts in works of Dante.

Crime story that involves true characters from 19th century Boston (including famous poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. and James Russell Lowell), but put in the reality of completely fictitious series of murders that take place around them. On a first glance, taking under consideration the similarity to other works, like The Da Vinci Code, The Dante Club was quite original when it comes to setting and motifs. Unfortunately, while the beginning of the book was rather intriguing, with every chapter the story loses its originality, its appeal and becomes rather stale. Distinct lack of tension, lack of sense of danger for the main characters and overall becomes just uninteresting.

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