Review: The Thassos Confabulation by Sam Sommer

After summarily being escorted home from the beautiful and historic Dordogne region of France by several members of the FBI, and having been told to never divulge anything about what they’ve seen or done, David and Chris discover that they’ve not only inherited a great deal of money from the estate of the late Paul Maxwell, but along with the money, they’ve also come into possession of a simple, nondescript, brown paper parcel that Paul left for them as part of their inheritance. When David finally pushes Chris to open it, the contents, along with a strange and perplexing letter, send David on a circuitous quest to understand what it all means, never suspecting the outcome would end so frighteningly close to home.


Confabulation (psychological term) n.

the replacement of a gap in a person's memory by a falsification that he or she believes to be true.

Confession. I read the blurb, saw the word Dordogne, squealed and hit the request button. Because I've been there and it's amazing and I thought it would give me the chance to reminisce. 

I mean...

Would you look at all that? Can you blame me? That ain't your regular pretty. That's French pretty with the rolled R and the flat drawn out E and the whole nine yards.


Even though the events that transpired in Dordogne are sprinkled liberally throughout this story, there was no Dordogne in my Dordogne book. Words fail me at how much disappointment I had over this development. But I built a bridge and soldiered on and hoped maybe they'd go to Greece! Nope. That didn't happen either. The whole thing takes place in NYC.

I maybe pouted but the story was still engaging and up until the 60ish% mark I was thoroughly entertained and then it fizzled.

David is a bit obsessive about Chris' (his partner) inheritance from a close friend and this obsession leads to a series of improbable coincidences, causes some amount of strife within their relationship and ultimately leads to the unthinkable. This is set in the early 90s before the internet. I kept finding myself thinking why doesn't he just Google that... oh yeeeeaaahhhh. And when he pulled out a phone book all I could think was I do not miss those. 

David's character development is decent but he didn't do much for me and the rest of the characters are two-dimensional.

Overall, I enjoyed The Thassos Confabulation and the plot is solid, but I was expecting something altogether different. Multiple times I adjusted my expectations, but one too many rabbits got pulled out of the hat and the final rabbit wasn't satisfying. I wanted something extraordinary rather than ordinary. I wanted that confabulation to have wings, wings that flapped all the way across the Atlantic and into a treasure hunt or an angel or a dragon. But I should've heeded that title.

This is not a romance. There are two gay main characters who are in a long term monogamous relationship. I think they have sex on page once and it's a couple of thrusts to glory glory hallelujah. It is an action/adventure but I was looking for more of the urban fantasy than what was delivered. What about all those outlandish coincidences? Was there something to them, something paranormal or supernatural? And what did Paul mean? But I think that's me looking for an Indiana Jones or maybe an X Files plot line.

The dialogue is organic for the most part, though it does get a little stiff at times.

The prose leaned toward repetitive in spots with excessive details of daily activities that have tendency to bore me and I don't believe moved the plot forward, but it flowed well. I'm not expert but this does seem like a realistic portrayal of what would happen under these sorts of circumstances both in regards to the logistics and the reactions of those involved. 

I still feel a bit cheated on the France deal, though.

Even the French chicken looks a little fussy I no showed too, doesn't he? Sorry chicken.

Recommend to fans of light action stories. Is that a thing?

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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