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O Jerusalem (1999)

par Laurie R. King

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

Séries: Mary Russell (5), Mary Russell: Chronological Order (December 1918-February 1919)

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2,148625,947 (4.07)110
Mary Russell once again teams up with Sherlock Holmes as they are pursued by murderous strangers through the bazaars of 1918 Jerusalem.
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Affichage de 1-5 de 63 (suivant | tout afficher)

'O Jerusalem' was a book that I came to with reluctance rather than enthusiasm. I'd enjoyed the first four books in the series both because each book had a strong plot heightened by fascinating historical details and because Laurie King slowly grew the partnership between Russell and Holmes into something credible and intriguing. The retired, much older Holmes is an extension of Conan Doyle's creation, not a pastiche of it and Mary Russell, intelligent, brave, unconventional, intellectually rigorous and endlessly curious is a character strong enough not to be at Holmes' side without being in his shadow.

Yet, when I reached 'O Jerusalem', the fifth book, my enthusiasm for the series faltered. I was put off because the book goes back in time to fill in a blank few weeks in the first book, ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice’ when Russell and Holmes his away from their enemies by spending time abroad. This bothered me because I thought it was likely to lose the forward momentum in the relationship between Russel and Holmes that the first four books had delivered, and because it took me back to a point when the age gap and experience gap between Russell and Holmes had seemed too wide to be bridged. I was also put off by the setting of the book. I seldom enjoy books set in rancid politics of the Middle East and the behaviour of the British Government in 1919 seems to me to have been a major contributor to the instability of the region for the rest of the century.

In the end, I read 'O Jerusalem' simply so that I could move on and read the rest of the series. While the book didn't engage me in the way its predecessors had, it turned out not to be a dull chore either.

It had been so long since I'd read a Russell and Holmes book that I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed Mary Russell's low-key, slightly dry, very perceptive descriptions of people, places and events. Listening to Mary telling the story of her time with Holmes in Jerusalem was the strongest part of the book for me.

The plot is about espionage rather than solving a murder. I found it to be a little static, although the ending managed to have enough energy in it to read like a thriller. The sense of place was very strong. It didn't make me hungry to visit Palestine but it did bring both the discomforts of the environment and the richness of the culture to life.

I found myself out of sympathy with her romantic view of Jerusalem and her uncritical admiration of Edmund Allenby but I could see that they fitted into her character perfectly both as a religious scholar and as a nineteen-year-old coming face to face with one of the most charismatic men in the region.

I was surprised to find that the book helped me to become more comfortable with the relationship between Russell and Holmes. Throughout most of the book, Russell presents herself as a young Arab boy, called Amir. This seemed to be a very empowering experience for her, allowing her to display her odd mix of scholarship, language skills, and combat skills to advantage. I also liked the scene in the book where Russell attends a ball at Allenby's request and finds herself as the only single woman in a room full of young Army Officiers who buzz around her like flies. She rises to the occasion with aplomb and enjoys seeing Holmes' discomfort at the attention she receives.

So, having been reminded of how much I like Mary Russell, I'm now ready to resume reading the series and I'm looking forward to moving back up the timeline for the next book, 'Justice Hall' and seeing how a slightly older and no longer single Mary Russell handles a meeting with two men that she worked with closely in Palestine.
( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Mar 26, 2022 |
This is a review for the audiobook version, which I listened to in the car to and from work and during which I was on school holidays for 2 weeks. I say this as a partial explanation for the next line:

Holy cheese whiz, it's finally over!

It felt like this book took an unusually long time to get through. In part, as I mentioned above, it's my "car read" and I didn't drive for 2 weeks, but also because for the first half of the book, there isn't much happening at all. A lot of Holmes and Russell walking about in the desert and I mean a lot of walking. For fully the first half of the book, almost nothing happens.

But oh, what a rich and vividly written first half of almost nothing it is. I'd come home from work driving through a very cold wet city and feel like I had to shower off the sand and sweat from the deserts of Palestine. I was never bored, never disinterested and when the second half of the book begins and Holmes and Russell are in Jerusalem, it all starts picking up speed until they are literally racing against a clock.

My only beef about this book is that it's #5 in the series, but takes place during the same time frame as Beekeeper's Apprentice; if I'd known this, I would have read it second, because it makes much more sense to me. As it stands at #5, I was left "undoing" several rather significant character developments in my head in order to properly place O Jerusalem and it's characters in the proper timeline.

I'll definitely re-read this book, and in print, because I think I missed a lot of details listening to it the first time around. But it was absolutely enjoyable and I can't recommend Jenny Sterlin's narration of the series strongly enough. ( )
  murderbydeath | Jan 23, 2022 |
I just couldn't connect with this installment in the Holmes & Russell series. ( )
  Stephen.Lawton | Aug 7, 2021 |
Needing to leave England for a while and accepting a commission from Sherlock's brother Mycroft, Mary and Sherlock find themselves in Palestine and in the middle of a plot to destabilize an already troubled area in 1919 when Allenby is trying to forge some sort of peace and the Turks aren't quite ready to give up the area.

Mary dons the disguise of an Arab boy named Amir and has a rapid course in Arabic as they join forces with Mahmoud and Ali who are agents for Mycroft and who aren't eager to have two new strangers coming into the area. After a period of testing which tests their stamina and determination and puts a strain on Holmes who is healing from the bomb blast which precipitated their trip to Palestine, Holmes and Mary find themselves trying to find the mastermind who is behind a few murders and a plot to blow up a sacred site in Jerusalem.

The story sees Holmes and Russell traveling through many dusty parts of Palestine including cliff-side monasteries and buried tunnels and aqueducts and tombs. Mary and Sherlock even have a chance to swim in the Dead Sea. Mary is often awestruck seeing the sites she has studied and the places that form an important part of her religion.

I loved the vivid descriptions of the land and people they meet on their journey. The plot was nicely twisty. I liked the growing relationship between Mary and Sherlock as they ease from Mary's apprenticeship to her being a full and equal partner to Holmes. ( )
  kmartin802 | May 9, 2021 |
Needing to leave England for a while and accepting a commission from Sherlock's brother Mycroft, Mary and Sherlock find themselves in Palestine and in the middle of a plot to destabilize an already troubled area in 1919 when Allenby is trying to forge some sort of peace and the Turks aren't quite ready to give up the area.

Mary dons the disguise of an Arab boy named Amir and has a rapid course in Arabic as they join forces with Mahmoud and Ali who are agents for Mycroft and who aren't eager to have two new strangers coming into the area. After a period of testing which tests their stamina and determination and puts a strain on Holmes who is healing from the bomb blast which precipitated their trip to Palestine, Holmes and Mary find themselves trying to find the mastermind who is behind a few murders and a plot to blow up a sacred site in Jerusalem.

The story sees Holmes and Russell traveling through many dusty parts of Palestine including cliff-side monasteries and buried tunnels and aqueducts and tombs. Mary and Sherlock even have a chance to swim in the Dead Sea. Mary is often awestruck seeing the sites she has studied and the places that form an important part of her religion.

I loved the vivid descriptions of the land and people they meet on their journey. The plot was nicely twisty. I liked the growing relationship between Mary and Sherlock as they ease from Mary's apprenticeship to her being a full and equal partner to Holmes. ( )
  kmartin802 | May 9, 2021 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
King, Laurie R.auteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Sterlin, JennyNarrateurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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Mary Russell: Chronological Order (December 1918-February 1919)
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For Dorothy Nicholl, and in memory of Donald, with love and gratitude.
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During the final week of December 1918, shortly before my nineteenth birthday, I vanished into British-occupied Palestine in the company of my friend and mentor Sherlock Holmes.
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Mary Russell once again teams up with Sherlock Holmes as they are pursued by murderous strangers through the bazaars of 1918 Jerusalem.

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