Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer

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 markings 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, and 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 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.

This was the unabridged audiobook on CD edition (10 discs/11.5 hours).

The author is a complete genius, as is the reader, Scott Brick. I don't think the book would have been as good without his reading.

The characters were annoying at times (case in point, Naomi, who was a complete bitch to start but grew on me very slightly as the book went on), and just downright crazy at others (Ellis & company), but very realistic. Ellis and his associates really concerned me as they could be real people. I guess they just prove that religious zealots, or zealots of any kind, are the most dangerous of all humans. It's incredibly scary to think that there are people like them in the real world.

And wow! I had no idea about the identity of the Prophet until the author told us, but wow! That was a great twist!

I had no idea what the heck the Superman connection was for 99% of the book, but once everything was resolved that was indeed a great choice. And the Luther editorial/Lex Luthor connection was fabulous!

I'm not sure if the choice to use "fudge me" instead of the real thing came from the author, or the audio publisher, but it was incredibly annoying. Sort of like watching an edited version of the Sopranos or Sex and the City - it's just off somehow.

So, the author was brilliant, the reader was fabulous (as always), and the entire book, while long, was worth the time. I didn't particularly enjoy the book, but it was good and for that reason, I'm going to give it 7 stars.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆


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