The Book of Lies review
Cain kills Abel in Chapter Four of the Bible. 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 three gunshots to his 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 family’s greatest secret: his long-lost father, who’s been shot with a gun that traces back to Michell Siegel’s 1932 murder. But before Cal can ask a single question, he and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the anicent markings of Cain. And so begins the chase for the world’s first murder weapon.
What does Cain, history’s greatest villain, have to do with Superman, the world’s greatest hero? And what do two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common? This is the mystery at the heart of Brad Meltzer’s riveting and utterly intriguing new thriller.
Review and Grade: C-
Generally, I was disappointed by this book. It’s so obvious how it fit the mold of DaVinci Code or National Treasure, it had the feeling of a giant mad lib. I was never sucked into the action enough to get past the point of thinking to myself, “I know what Meltzer’s doing, and why he’s doing it.” It’s no fun to read a book, especially an action book and be able to point out all of the plot devices.
The biggest reason for all of this, based upon my lack of caring, was that he never really explained the importance of whatever it was the characters are searching for. I understand that the main character might not understand why things are happening, but the reader should. It isn’t until 3/4 of the way through the book that the whole legend is explained at all. Maybe if the importance had been explained upfront, like most of the other standard conspiracy-adventure books, I would have cared more. Meltzer was probably trying to get a little creative with the format of the book so as not to be just more of the same, but in order for ‘suspense’ to be suspenseful, the reader has to care. In order to care, I like to have some clue what the heck is going on.
Ok, this is sounding a little harsh, especially considering I gave the book a C. Other than the above, there’s nothing wrong with the book. It’s just like most of the others. It doesn’t get you thinking, at least not until the very end, but I was at least a little bit curious of who was the traitor. I give Meltzer credit, I was indeed surprised by who it was. So it was ok, really. I don’t wish I could have the few hours I spent reading it back (it was an incredibly quick read for how little I was interested), although I haven’t gained anything from this reading experience.
Recommendation: take it or leave it. Maybe someone more into Superman or religious conspiracy than I am would like it more.