Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book Review: The Book of Lies (2008)

In September of this year, Brad Meltzer's seventh novel the Book of Lies came out in hardback. I usually wait for Brad's books to come out in paperback (usually a year after their release) as I have all of the previous ones in the format. The first time I discovered his books was in a Raleigh bookstore that sold copies that were signed - my copy of the Millionaires was that way. Since then, I've met Brad at the San Diego ComicCon where I got personally signed copies of Dead Even and the Tenth Justice - my two top favorites of his books to date.

Anyway, I was at the library this week and saw the Book of Lies hardcover in the 7 Day Book area. I figured why not pick it up and read it, which I did. Only took me three days to finish.

The book revolves around a couple of murders in the past. The first murder is the oldest in history - when Cain killed Abel. The Bible is silent about one detail - the murder weapon. The second murder is that of Mitchell Siegel who was killed by two gunshots to the chest - the killer never found. Mitchell Siegel was the father of Jerry Siegel, one of the co-creators of Superman. Again, the weapon was never found. Are the two murders so how releated? This fictional tale gives the relationship.

The story started out a bit slow for me but by about page 40 or so I was pulled in. Then it moved at a quick pace. Cal Harper and his father get sucked into the whole scenario, trying to solve the mystery before a crazed man Ellis can beat them to the final prize. The story moves from Florida to Cleaveland, OH, the birthplace of Superman.

I found the book good, but not my favorite of Brad's work. The characters didn't connect with me as much as characters have in past books he has done. Also, I was able to guess who one of the mystery characters was early on, so that kind of ruined a little of the final climax for me. I liked the overall message of the novel though. It fit into the puzzle nicely and didn't feel like it was something coming out of left-field in the 11th hour.

If you get a chance, check it out for yourself. You don't have to be a comic book fan to get the references. Brad does a great job of giving the reader all the details they need to enjoy the mystery.

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