Seeker

Seeker - Jack McDevitt TL;DR:
A face-paced investigation, sparked by a chance walk-in appraisal of what the owner had thought was a simple little cup, becomes one of the biggest archaeological discoveries in recent history. Throughout it all, Benedict and Chase suffer constant accusations of looting and tomb-robbing as opposition to "artifact acquisitions" push for new laws restricting their trade; whilst in the shadows, someone plots a final end to Benedict's run of success - permanently.

An entertaining page turner.

Full Review
The Alex Benedict series is an interesting one, and I've given it four stars instead of three less for the quality of the writing than the story contained within. Some reviewer's of this book have claimed the writing to be adequate (or worse), the characters two-dimensional and the novel, as a whole, not worth a great deal of time.

There is some truth to this. The characters are established with broad sweeps, and not much detail is given to any of them but the narrator herself. Alex Benedict is portrayed very much as a Sherlock Holmes or Nero Wolfe character, capable of leaps of intuitive brilliance that aren't necessarily well explained - something that some lovers of modern mysteries might not appreciate, as you see examples of the character suddenly "have an idea" but not explain his deduction for some time after, which can be frustrating at times. It is a mystery story, certainly, but in the vein of the classic pre-christie mysteries in many ways.

All of that aside, the story by itself would warrant a three star review. The search, connecting the missing pieces and making use of both modern (and future-modern) technologies and good old fashioned foot-work is both plausible and interesting, and if the writing pushes the story forward with fairly simplistic descriptions and a large degree of haste, it is still an entertaining read.

And that is the reason for the final star. Whatever faults there were in the writing, pacing or characterisation, the bottom line is that the book is entertaining and kept me turning the pages without stop from beginning to end, waiting to see the final result of their investigation. The result, when it comes, isn't exactly a twist and not entirely unexpected, but it was immensely satisfying.