Book Review: The Mussorgsky Riddle by Darin Kennedy
The Mussorgsky Riddle by Darin Kennedy
This is the most imaginative novel I think I have ever read. Part psychological thriller, part fantasy quest, The Mussorgsky Riddle follows the story of Mira Tejedor, who has psychic abilities that in the past have helped her rescue a young woman who was held captive. This time she is trying to help Anthony, an autistic boy, who is in a catatonic state – his mother increasingly desperate about his condition. Mira enters his mind to find Anthony’s shattered psyche has created a world based on Modest Mussorgsky’s classic musical suite, ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, with troubadours, gnomes, and witches. Anthony’s mind reveals clues to a real life mystery – the disappearance of a local teenage girl who was dating his older brother Jason.
The plotline moves between the real world where Mira has to deal with an increasingly upset family, skeptical police and health professionals – and the incredible fantasy world of Anthony’s mind. It’s certainly an ambitious novel, but the author has created a captivating and page-turning read. Partly this is due to the sassy nature of Mira, the central character, who is personable and nuanced. Partly it is due to the whodunit nature of the crime story, and partly that in the fantasy world the reader never knows what will happen next, and all standard rules are thrown out the window. I couldn’t put this book down until the very end.
I hope Darin is working on another novel as I enjoyed this well-spun lyrical tale, and I would love to read more books by this talented author.