Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer

One could not explain the premise of this book better than the jacket flap:
In chapter four of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. It is the world’s most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history.
In 1932 Mitchell Siegel was killed by two gunshots to the chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world’s greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain’s murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found.
Today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cal Harper comes face-to-face with his own family tragedy: His long-missing father has been shot with a gun that traces back to Mitchell Siegel’s 1932 murder. But soon after their surprising reunion, Cal and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the ancient marketings of Cain.
So begins the chase for the world’s first murder weapon. It is a race that will pull Cal back into his own past even as it propels him forward through the true story of Cain and Abel, an eighty-year-old unsolvable puzzle, and the deadly organization known for the past century as the Leadership.
What does Cain, history’s greatest villain, have to do with Superman, the world’s greatest hero? And what to two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common?
What an intriguing premise from Brad Meltzer who seems to have his hand in so many different enterprises. His TV show, Decoded, was what has piqued my interest in his books. He may become one of those authors whose books I will not want to miss. But The Book of Lies is the first that I have read and it won't be the last. The book is fast-paced and what you would deem a venerable page turner. Meltzer's cast of characters are a bit eccentric and odd to say the least. The mystery that he weaves from the Bible to the comic books seems far-fetched, but in the end quite plausible. As the reader thinks that s/he has put the puzzle pieces together, the action takes an unforeseen turn. 

In addition, The Book of Lies prompts the reader to dig back in history to the Nazis, the Thules, and Himmler's Ahnenerbe. When a book does this to me, I become distracted and want to research. I guess that's the bane of being a librarian. In some ways the novel is reminiscent of Dan Brown's books, especially The DaVinci Code. There is an equal mix of fiction and historical facts, even to the meeting of the real inspiration for Lois Lane. The reader is very much on a roller coaster ride as the action is fast paced and surprising. From Florida to Cleveland to California, it is a ride you won't want to miss.

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