book review

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

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The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

I finished this book a few days ago but I’ve been delaying writing this review. Why? Well, it seems that absolutely everyone loves this book, giving it 4 or 5 stars, they say that they couldn’t put it down and can’t wait for the next book by the author. I don’t feel that way about this book.

I had thought that I wouldn’t review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy and wouldn’t recommend. But I am going to review this one, however I also want you to remember that it seems most people really love this book!

‘This book is being talked about a lot, people seem to love it. The author is very active on social media, helping to increase its profile.

The book is written by David Videcette, ex police detective who was working in the police anti-terrorism department when the July 2005 bombings happened in London. This book is part fact and part fiction, telling the story of Jake, a detective who is desperately trying to find out what happened and why four men decided to carry bombs into London and kill themselves and many others.

Like many in high pressured jobs (doctors, firefighters, military etc) there is a high rate of drug and alcohol addiction in police detectives, along with a sprinkling of sex addiction. Jake gives us a good example of this, and the struggles that he has when he finishes work for the day. With Jake though I felt that a lot of the pressure was put on him by himself, he seemed to think that he could see things in the investigation that others couldn’t, and that he needed to be a part of solving it.

The Theseus Paradox is incredibly well written, if I was rating it on writing style alone I’d give it 5*. The author clearly has a vast knowledge of the July bombings and all that went with it, and I loved the attention to detail, like comments about news stories that were happening at the time throughout the book. However for me there was just something missing. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t put it down, as many reviewers do.

One thing I struggled with was not knowing what was true and what wasn’t. David Videcette was unable to write this book as a true story, which he’d originally wanted to do, due to The Official Secrets Act. But this left me frustrated, I wanted to know what was real and what wasn’t. The July 2005 bombings feels like too important a subject to mess with, and to be unclear about what was and what wasn’t true.

Since finishing the book I have done some online research into the bombings and I do feel that the public do not know enough about what happened and why. I can understand why the author wanted to tell this story, and it is an important one, but I feel that the book is based so close to the truth without actually being the truth, that it just confuses matters and perhaps wasn’t the best way to tell this powerful story. I think that if I had read The Theseus Paradox as purely a work of fiction then I would have enjoyed it a lot more.’

If you have read The Theseus Paradox I’d love to know what you think, do you agree with me in any way? I feel like I’m the only one out there who feels like this, but maybe others do and aren’t saying it? Please let me know what you think!!!

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