Friday, 2 July 2010

The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez

Mathematical Serial Killer
Reviewed by Maryom

An Argentinian maths student arrives in Oxford on a year's scholarship and finds lodgings with an elderly widow, Mrs Eagleton - till the day he arrives home to find her murdered. Also on the scene is renowned mathematician Arthur Seldom who has received a note with the words 'first of the series' and a mysterious symbol, possibly the start of a mathematical sequence.
A second murder quickly follows and it appears that the killer is challenging mathematicians, perhaps Seldom specifically, by his actions. Can they predict where he will strike next from the notes he leaves? Is he taunting them? or hoping to be caught?

At just under 200 pages this is a very short book but one packed with suspense and the twists and turns you'd expect of the best murder mysteries. An intellectual puzzle in a slightly Agatha Christie style rather than a high body count, gory psychological thriller - personally I prefer murder mysteries this way. Well written, well characterised and extremely well plotted, right down to the last page plot twist.
Since I've read this, I've discovered that there is a film of the book. From the trailer it appears to be full of conspiracy theories - the book isn't! If it's not too late, read the book before you see the film.

Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Abacus
Genre - Adult Crime

1 comment:

  1. I read this book a while ago and really enjoyed it, I too found the puzzle of 'who did it' a nice change from high body counts (though I do enjoy these as well!) I have yet to see the film, but would thoroughly recommend the book.