Title: The Valentine Circle
Author: Reinaldo DelValle
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
First published: September 6th 2014
Finished reading: November 4th 2015
“Asking too many questions makes it seem as if your head is just empty space. Most of the things you think you don’t know, you truly do know. You just don’t know you do.”
I got my copy of The Valentine Circle as a kindle freebie back in April, and my TBR jar decided it was about time I read it. This novel by Reinaldo DelValle has an historical setting and a plot with an interesting enough twist to make me quite enjoy it despite the minor flaws. The prose and the pace made this historical mystery into a slow read at points and it took me longer than planned to actually finish this novel. I’m not sure I did appreciate all the characters and the whole mystery around officer Silas de San Michel felt a bit unreal and forced at points, but it does show that the author took his time investigating the historical facts of the era. I guess I have to admit that not knowing who Silas really is did make me want to continue reading… That and the question what was really happening within the Valentine Society. If you like the genre and don’t mind a slightly slow read where the actions are not perfectly balanced with the dialogue, you will most likely enjoy reading The Valentine Circle.
The police of Boston has been busy after a string of kidnappings and a murderer running loose killing the unborn babies of the city’s social elite. Part of the elite form a group called the Valentine Society and control the police department, making it hard for the ‘honest’ cops to do their job properly. On top of that a mysterious man appears out of nowhere, not remembering who he is or where he came from, but with some very impressive skills… Inspector Belloc makes Silas an officer and asks him for his help with the murder case. It turns out they will need his special skills to continue with the case, because the Valentine Society doesn’t want the murders leaking out… Will Silas be able to help as well as try to get his memory back? And who is he really that he has all these dark skills?
When you read the blurb, The Valentine Circle sounds like a proper thriller/crime read. Unfortunately, the story itself is a bit low on action and focuses too much on the dialogues and general interactions between the characters. Which is not exactly a bad thing, but I felt that in this case it slowed down the pace a bit too much. I quite liked the historical setting though and I guess those who enjoy reading historical mysteries will probably like this one as well. It’s not a great read, but without doubt still entertaining enough.