Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Island of Dead Gods by Verena Mahlow will appeal to fans of suspense and mystery. The setting is, in and of itself, a character in the story. It is a dream destination for travelers but a place that haunts its inhabitants. Philine, or Phil, is a single mother and an interpreter. Bankrupt, she sells her most prized asset, her house in Ibiza. But losing her house is just the beginning of troubles as her best friend disappears and a fire consumes her cottage. What she never expected to happen is her ex-lover, Adam, showing up on the island. He came to the island to bury his sister, who supposedly committed suicide. But did she commit suicide? A connection between the death of her ex-lover’s sister, the fire in her house, and the disappearance of her best friend will force Phil and Adam to work together to unravel the mystery. But can they dig up the truth?
Verena Mahlow writes in gorgeous prose, and she creates a beautiful and suspenseful setting that engages the reader. The characters are ordinary people who struggle to make ends meet and suddenly find themselves in the middle of a crisis. They are real. They are relatable. And their world feels like the world of the neighbor next door, only it is filled with mystery and unusual events. The relationships are written beautifully, especially the conflict between the heroine and her ex-lover, Adam. Quickly capturing my interest, I had to follow their journey, wanting to see where it led them. In addition to the superb writing and the fascinating storyline, Verena Mahlow has the uncanny gift of creating appealing personalities for her characters. Island of Dead Gods is an inventive and dramatic thriller with strong conflict and unforgettable characters; the novel is evocative and enchanting.