And so, in a way, it is. The Valide has made her point, Yashim has saved his little bit of a vanished world, and whatever I hoped would be true about it all has been said, one way or another. For this time, and in this story.
But An Evil Eye isn’t quite finished, yet.
There are scenes which need knitting together. There’s a whole character who needs to be veiled more thickly in suspicion. A ticking clock I still need to wind. I need, finally, to print the whole book out and sit up somewhere with tea and a pencil.
The book’s there, all the same. More from Preen, the dancer; Palewski coming up trumps, and laying his comfortable fire; some good moments between Yashim and his chopping board again. And also a story about Yashim dealing with his own past, as it comes up to bite him in the character of Fevzi Ahmed Pasha – a real-life figure I’ve snatched out of history for the purposes of the novel. Oh, and the Valide, who is getting increasingly frail…
I’m pleased about the time-scale of the book, too, which starts in the same month as The Bellini Card, but returns to Istanbul that winter, when snow lies on the ground. Different stories, but casual overlap here and there.
An Evil Eye revolves around treachery and the harem. Both of them moral dilemmas, of a sort.
So the champagne’s on ice – at least until the pencil’s done its work. And then, perhaps, it’s time to move to a new blog, too?
An Evil Eye.