House Of Many Rooms by Marius Gabriel

Pros: starts out OK

Cons: devolves into a dull drama

I’m not sure what genre Marius Gabriel’s House Of Many Rooms should be in. On the front cover, it refers to itself as a “thriller” but it wasn’t very thrilling. It was a bit of mystery, but even that was pretty lame. Basically, it was a drama.

Imagine how you’d feel if you were living a decent life, minding your own business, when a newspaper article catches your eye. A woman is dead after a family home catches fire. And the suspect is the woman’s thirteen-year-old adopted daughter. Now imagine you’re the biological mother of that little girl – you’ve hardly thought of her at all over the past thirteen years. You gave her up for reasons that, at the time, seemed sound. But now you wonder – what has this girl’s life been like? What would drive her to do such an unthinkable act? Or, is she innocent, with something far more sinister going on in her adoptive family?

This is what’s happening to Rebecca. She’s recovering from a terrible accident when this information falls into her lap. And now she’s on a quest – to find her little girl and get her out of whatever trouble she’s in. But the road is a long one, fraught with dangers from several angles. Not the least of which is the adoptive father who has no intention of giving up “his” daughter.

The characters were well-fleshed out. We feel we get to “know” them. Not necessarily like them, but at least we understand their motivations a little bit. I enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book immensely. The part where Rebecca formulates her plan and puts it into motion. The final third, however, was a bit lacking. By that point, I pretty much knew how it would end; there was very little in terms of surprise or twist. And I hated when the bio-dad got involved. The story got a bit ridiculous, at that point. I just didn’t feel the characters acted in ways that rang true.

Basically, House Of Many Rooms is a drama. It would make an interesting Lifetime movie. But as a novel, it falls apart two-thirds of the way through. Forgettable and trite, this one gets two thumbs down from me.

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