The Book of Lies, by Brad Meltzer
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
By rights, this was probably not my book to read. I hardly ever read suspense or thrillers anymore. The last time might have been a Dean Koontz book years ago that I was too scared to finish. This was a pick that was more a convergence of events; one thing led to another. And what, you might ask, were those things? I’m only to happy to answer. I had been on Book Blogs and I saw an event posted that was a conference call with author Brad Meltzer posted; had never heard of the author and the call was for the next day, so I knew I couldn’t do it and didn’t think about it anymore. Then I saw and commented on a trailer for the book and started to become more interested in the premise of the book, which was exploring connections between the biblical story of Cain and Abel and the creation of Superman. I randomly saw a second trailer on someone’s blog (unfortunately I can’t remember where) which was hilarious. And then as it turned out, the call was rescheduled, the publicist sent me the book and I read it and participated in my first blogger conference call (I feel so grown-up), but more on that tomorrow.
Cal is an ex ICE agent who has just lost his job after a situation arises with one of his informants. He spends his nights racing homeless people out of trouble before the police can show up and as a counselor to homeless teens. One fateful night on the job, Cal runs into his father, who killed his mother 19 years before, and whose return he has awaited just as long. When these two meet again all hell breaks loose. Cal is ambivalent about seeing his father again. Their relationship is fraught with anger, suspicion and misunderstandings. What they will be to each other is negotiated as they go on the run to find out what is contained in the mysterious “Book of Lies” and how it connects to the death of Jerry Siegel’s father Mitchell (another father and son story) and propels the creation of a Superman, a hero invulnerable to death and bullets.
I enjoyed this book. It juxtaposed intelligent speculation and food for thought with a good old fashioned mystery. I was turning the pages, and quickly, because this book did a good job with the pacing of information and walking the fine line of leaving enough story that is readily suspected and enough that has yet to be uncovered. In a couple of places the dialogue was a little stiff and some of the relationships a wee bit hokey, but overall it flowed, and what made it fun was that cynical and sarcastic Cal seemed to recognize those places and was rolling his eyes along with the reader. Love it! Bonus points for the authors note in the end when author Brian Meltzer takes the time to separate some of the fact from fiction; so when you go off to investigate a little bit on your own (because trust me, you will) you’ll have a place to start.
Read an except here.
Want a second opinion? Read another great review by:
Kathy at Bermudaonion