The Tangled Web
by Kenneth Ricklefs
Trafford Publishing

"As the figure quickly moved toward him, he stood and started to turn to see who it was. All he saw was a hand holding an object that was rapidly coming his way."

Sir Walter Scott's most famous quote is undoubtedly "Oh, what a tangled web we weave/When first we practise to deceive." These two lines of verse from his epic poem "Marmion" about the Battle of Flodden Field have morphed into proverbial wisdom, and countless mystery plots have revolved around this truism over the years. Keeping with tradition, Ricklefs spins a tale with several layers of deception in this suspenseful and entertaining thriller.

Peter Jameison is a man used to the finer things in life. A lover of order and punctuality, his world is suddenly shaken when he discovers his housekeeper has been attacked in his flat. This is but the first of a series of mysterious and frequently violent events that leave a trail of bodies, suspicions, and puzzles in their wake. The "web" he and his friends are caught in stretches from Europe to Asia and even to the Americas and, although he is not aware of it, was originally first spun almost sixty years ago by his father toward the end of the World War II. Unfortunately, this sticky trap may also contain more than one spider.

Ricklefs' story is well-paced and rich in characters that the reader can like and identify with. A sprinkle of romance merely adds to the fun, as do the various misunderstandings and plot twists designed to keep the protagonists, and reader, in the dark as long as possible. Although the book suffers slightly from some editing issues, overall it is an enjoyable read.

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