✓ Read Ñ Fellowship of Fear by Aaron Elkins ✓ First published in 1982, this book is set firmly in the Cold War period, before Glasnost, before the Berlin Wall came down, when the KGB was the Big Bad out there in the Western world I was alive at the time, and remember it pretty well, so the story felt nostalgic to me rather than dated, as I ve seen other reviews complain of The protagonist is an anthropologist as is the author , who in this first book in the series takes a temporary post in Heidelberg, and gets caught up in espionage and murder The story itself was interesting, but I was a bit disappointed in the way the anthropology and linguistics aspect of things was incorporated into the story it s interesting but a bit clunky, bordering on magic tricks in some places as when Oliver works out the height, weight, ethnicity, and smoking habit of a deceased person from thr Book 1 of this Forensic Anthropologist series and I highly enjoyed it Decent plot with action all over and we get enough background our hero Gideon Oliver to get an understanding of the man A lot of technical terms, and at times an overuse of them, but all help to explain how Gideon gets his deductions on people Interesting end of story and I hope to see a lot of this series in my future reading If I hadn t already read Old Bones and rated it better than this, I wouldn t have made it through First in the series, it does get better, I think, but will be checking it out soon The sexism is a bit much at times, but I read some books in this series years ago, but missed the earliest ones I decided to go back and try to pick up the series in order, thanks to a review written by a Goodreads friend thanks, Matt This started a little slow for me, but I soon found myself pulling this one out of my in process stack most of the time I wanted to see what was happening next in the story, which takes place in Germany and involves some espionage, and the KGB it was written while the Cold War was still very much a factor Gideon is working on various military bases, teaching courses in his field as a bone specialist, and inadvertently becomes involved in a spy ring I liked the central characters, especially Gideon Oliver I plan to go on to the next in the series.
Great local color I especially enjoyed the parts about Heidelberg and a river cruise, which brought back memories of when my husband was stationed in Germany.
I am fond of Gideon Oliver, The Skeleton Detective However, I have read the series books out of order, based on which one I discovered at a used book sale This one is the first in the series and is not my favorite I guess the first one has to introduce you to the character, but I found the plot convoluted and not really using Oliver s talents to solve the mystery to prove to you that he is talented.
The later novels in which he studies old bones and comes up with a wealth of information about them and therefore helps solve a mystery are a lot of fun Even better if you have an interest in anthropology.
Goodreads ate my long and exhaustive review, so let s at least give bullets point to explain my rating The writing style reads as if someone translated this story from another language into English and did a bad job with it Really, some passages read awkward, that shouldn t be The characters behave strangely A cop with a childlike laugh who grins and laughs his way through most of his time in this book Just no A confuse storyline with NATO thinking the main characters spies for the Russians while the Russians thinks he is a NATO spy why he in fact is unknowingly a bit of both is not very believable Neither is a main character who can defend his life, when some trained men would have died for sure, because he has good instincts and read how to defend yourself Then were was your editor The wine is called Riesling, not Reisling What the How can a professor of physical anthropology draw upon his special knowledge to find the solution of a mystery that is putting his own life in jeopardy Professor Gideon Oliver certainly doesn t ask himself that question when he arrives in Heidelberg for a stint as visiting lecturer at the United States Overseas College Pleasurable excitement is his main emotion he is visiting abroad for the first time and he hopes the appointment will help him overcome the depression caused by the death of his beloved young wife the year before When on his first evening in the German university city, Gideon is set upon as he returns to his hotel room, he is able to use his knowledge of national speech patterns to add to the poli
Gideon is a fairly classic Gary Stu, when you look at him He s an anthropologist like the author and is brilliant, tall, in incredible shape, and with apparently flawless judgement I did not find his judgement flawless, to be clear, but the author vindicated every one of his decisions but those where he simply didn t have any information to go from Our hero can also fend off an armed assault from two professional assailants, despite having no training and 12 glasses of wine in him.
However, to my perspective, Gideon is also a an ann When Anthropology Professor Gideon Oliver Is Offered A Teaching Fellowship At US Military Bases In Germany, Sicily, Spain, And Holland, He Wastes No Time Accepting Stimulating Courses To Teach, A Decent Stipend, All Expenses Paid, Plenty Of Interesting European Travel What S Not To Like It Does Not Take Him Long To Find Out On His First Night, He Is Forced To Fend Off Two Desperate, Black Clad Men Who Have Invaded His Heidelberg Hotel Room With Intent To Kill And Then There Are A Few Trivial Details That The Recruiting Agency Forgot To Mention Such As The Fact That The Two Previous Holders Of The Fellowship Both Met With Mysterious Ends From There, It Is All Downhill Gideon Finds Himself The Target In An Unfamiliar Game For Which No One Has Bothered To Give Him The Rules What He Does Have Is His Own Considerable Intellect And His Remarkable Forensic Skills He Will Need Them, For He Is Playing For Some Fairly High Stakes The Security Of Western Europe