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The Abomination by Jonathan Holt

The Abomination

Part of the The Carnivia Trilogy Series
Crime / Mystery   Thriller / Suspense   eBook Favourites   
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Maxim Jakubowski's view...

The opening volume of the Carnivia Trilogy is a fascinating story which blends an intriguing Dan Brown-like conspiracy mystery, Venice-set crime procedural tropes with a splendidly-drawn Italian female investigator who is paired up with a butch American Army sleuth and a fascinating cyber world and its eccentric but resolute inventor. The uncommon mix works most effectively and leaves so many avenues to explore in later volumes.

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Put Donna Leon, Dan Brown and Steig Larsson in a blender and the result is Jonathan Holt. Fast moving, short paragraphs and so much information you think you know it all until something else comes into play. You’ve red herrings all the way through and then suddenly they tie up, only, of course, the whole thing doesn’t for this is the start of a trilogy. With three threads of narrative and a great female side-kick fighting for her rights, this mixed the church, NATO, arms manufacturers and the mafia together with a private army, shady folk in the US government, the unrest in the former Yugoslavia and a great web site. It is terrific. Highly recommended.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Abomination a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!Is the only way I can describe this book!...It had me completely gripped till the early hours before sleep forced me to stop reading.' – Sam Lewis. Scroll down to read more reviews.

Click here to visit the website.

A piece from Jonathan Holt on how he came to write The Abomination...
'I always dreamed of writing a book that everyone would read. Sometimes I thought that meant writing a thriller: sometimes it drew me towards more character-based stories. Over a period of about five years I kept trying ideas and plots out, only to abandon them because they felt too small and unambitious.

Eventually I managed to have an entire novel almost finished - but something about it still felt wrong. Then one night I dreamt that I burnt it - or at least, the twenty-first century equivalent: I dreamed I deliberately deleted every single copy from my computer. In the dream, it felt strangely liberating… so I decided to do it. I put almost five year's work into my Recycle Bin and pressed 'permanently delete.' 'Are you sure?' asked the computer. Of course I wasn't sure! But afterwards I knew I'd made the right decision.' Click here to read the full comment.

A Piece of Passion from the Publisher on The Abomination...

'The Abomination plunged me into its world straight away. I was hooked from the very first page, where a murdered woman is washed up onto the steps of an ancient Venice church at midnight. She is found half-in, half-out of the freezing water, and she is wearing the robes of a priest – something that is totally forbidden by the Catholic church.

That was such a chilling, arresting opening scene, I didn’t think it could be bettered. But Jonathan Holt’s choice of locations just got more and more intriguing. By the time I had journeyed with his characters to an abandoned lunatic asylum on an uninhabited island, and then to, an online simulation of Venice (an exact replica down to the cracks in the paving stones) where users are masked and secrets can be shared in absolute anonymity, I was already getting the tingling feeling you get with a really exciting submission. Before long, what had started as a relatively straightforward murder mystery turned into the unravelling of a deep, dark conspiracy with its roots in the Balkan war - a conspiracy so disturbingly plausible that the first thing I did when I closed the book was start looking for more information on google – and then I wrote an email to my colleagues saying “We HAVE to buy this book.”

- Laura Palmer, Fiction Publisher. Click here to read the full comment.

If you like Jonathan Holt you might also like to read books by Andrea Camilleri, Terry Hayes and Frederick Forsyth.

Who is Maxim Jakubowski

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 26/04/2018


The Abomination by Jonathan Holt

It is midnight on the feast day of La Befana, and Venice is celebrating. Masked figures crowd the vaporettos, fireworks burst over the tower of St. Mark, and every trattoria hums with grappa-soaked gossip. But on the steps of Santa Maria, there is a deathly hush. A body has washed up from the Grand Canal: a woman, wearing the robes of a Catholic priest - a desecration known in the Catholic Church as an Abomination.This is Captain Katerina Tapo's first murder case, an investigation with sinister roots in post Cold War Italy that will test loyalties Kat did not know she had as she travels through the labyrinthine backstreets of Venice, to an abandoned asylum on the uninhabited island of Poveglia, via, a dark replica of Venice where friend and foe alike reside in total anonymity...


We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review The Abomination. You can read their reviews below.

Sam Lewis - 'AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!Is the only way I can describe this book!...It had me completely gripped till the early hours before sleep forced me to stop reading. If you are a fan of Dan Brown this is certainly for you.' Click here to read the full review.

Susana Sanchez - 'The Abomination very cleverly deals with contemporary issues such as the ordination of female priests or the use of social media websites to hide identities and commit cyber-crimes... I’m still wondering whether this is all true!!' Click here to read the full review.

Ruth Paterson - 'The Abomination is a superb read...The book was enjoyable and contained strong characters, mystery, romance, danger and was also food for thought...I look forward to revisiting Carnivia soon.' Click here to read the full review.

Reba Khatun - I really enjoyed this book and was hooked by the first chapter...I liked how this book was from the view of multiple characters as I got to really know them...Yippee! I've found another great author.' Click here to read the full review.

Maggie Crane - 'The Abomination is a book which engages the reader from the very first page and holds their interest throughout...As the story unfolds you find yourself transported into the streets of Venice, everything comes alive, such is the ability of the author to create the scene' Click here to read the full review.

Magda North - 'The Abomination is as every bit as good as the publishers have billed it to be. Lovely, interwoven plotting. Good characters – it's particularly nice to have two strong women leads.' Click here to read the full review.

Hannah Brittlebank - 'The Abomination raises itself above the everyday thriller by being well written, set against a well drawn backdrop of Venice and featuring two strong women leads.' Click here to read the full review.

J B Johnston - 'If you love Dan Brown with a bit of cyber-crime then read this’s not just one for the boys, drawing the reader in, weaving a complex and clever plot throughout with strong female characters.' Click here to read the full review.

Elisabeth Thomas - 'I would recommend this book for not only fans of Dan Brown and that genre of fiction but also for those who like conventional detective fiction and or thrillers.' Click here to read the full review.

Carolyn Huckfield - 'This is a fantastic thriller and the only good thing about finishing it is knowing that it is the first in a trilogy.' Click here to read the full review.

Additonal reviews for this book:

'The characters are strong, Venice is a magnificent backdrop and it has an arresting opening ... impressive'
Daily Mail

'Jonathan Holt blasts on to the thriller scene with a high voltage, all bets are off, cracker

'AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!! ... If you are a fan of Dan Brown this is certainly for you ... to say it's a page turner is an understatement! The only problem now is waiting for the next book in the trilogy!
Sam Lewis for

'[A] diverting debut ... Holt captures the allure of Venice and its creative cyber-counterpart, and creates two forceful [...] protagonists in Kat and Holly. The author gets carried away by throwing mystery on top of mystery, but, well, that's part of the fun'
Publishers Weekly

'It's rare to find a genuinely thrilling thriller that is also an illuminating portrait of a particular world, with characters as believable as any real-life acquaintance. The Abomination is a terrific book by any standard; as a first novel it is outstanding'
Literary Review

'This cracking upmarket thriller is the first in a trilogy ... a stonking conspiracy ... I loved the way this writer doesn't take his readers for fools; a rare entertainment for the thinking deckchair reader' Saga magazine

About the Author

Jonathan Holt

Jonathan Holt is a pseudonym for a bestselling British author. He read English at Oxford, and is now Creative Director of an advertising agency. He has travelled widely in Italy, where he fell in love with its language, food and people and many of his novels have been set there. He lives in Oxford and is working on book three in this internationally bestselling series.

Author photo © Hugh Dickens

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Book Info

Publication date

21st November 2013


Jonathan Holt

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Head of Zeus


400 pages


Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery



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