Mother Nile by Warren Adler reads like a hurricane
Through the years I’ve read many novels by Warren Adler, getting to know him as a very reliable author. Here’s a man who always delivers. I read everything from Boris Pasternak to Lee Child and in between, and Warren Adler takes up his own unique spot. Take his recent success, the novel Target Churchill about the proposed assassination of Winston Churchill: an engaging mix of history, crime, adventure, psychology and even some romance.
I thought I knew him by now, but with Mother Nile he took me by surprise. This book reads like a hurricane, throwing me into the eye at times, then plunging me back into the whirlwinds. It is not unusual for Warren Adler to sneak up on his reader with a couple of shockers way into his novels; but this time he took it to new heights. It’s a good thing he creates some space for character building and history, otherwise I’d have been too exhausted while reading.
That’s one of four reasons I’d like to recommend this novel: Mother Nile has a couple of twists where the story takes on new directions. You don’t see them coming.
The second reason is another skill of Warren Adler: I was drawn into Egypt and Cairo. I could almost smell it. Adler sketches location and history with skill. I felt the chaos and dust of the city, and the disorientation of the main character. ‘His first impression of Alexandria was that it seemed only half finished.’ (Unlike so many reviewers, I won’t go into the actual story. The publisher’s information is quite enough: read it here. I prefer to discuss my experience as a reader because I believe that is of more use to you.)
Third reason? There is always powerful romance in an Adler novel. ‘A tiny gust of cool breeze, barely touching. A kiss, perhaps.’ Adler makes sure such interludes are woven into the story naturally. That’s a real talent. In the case of Mother Nile, romance (or its substitutes) are key elements.
Last but not least is the story. There is instant mystery, instant enigma. It’s not just the sudden twists in the story that make it worthwhile. It’s the whole of the story that remains engaging.
All in all, it’s unmistakably the work of ‘the master of disfunction’, as Mr. Adler is sometimes called, originally because of his worldwide best seller The War of the Roses. Mother Nile presented me with some pretty dysfunctional dudes, in a pretty dysfunctional part of the world. I was glad to be sitting in my functional home, in a functional part of the world, while reading this hurricane.