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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 Meltzer's riveting and utterly intriguing new thriller. Unabridged. 15 CDs

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Dec 17, 2016

This is a One-of-a-Kind Story

Brad Meltzer is a familiar name, in spite of the fact I've never read any of his thrillers. Thus, I had no preconceived notions of his style. If you can wrap your mind around the idea that an author put Cain-and-Abel from the Bible with Superman's beginnings in Cincinnati, you will have an idea just how unique the plot is. Oddly enough, it works. The author knows his Bible and his Superman comics, and it shows.

In Meltzer's zeal to add lots of red herrings, he threw in Nazis and the Thule. My real problem with the work was that the characters were (to me) shallow, cardboard cartoons. To be fair, it may be counterproductive to do too much delving into individual character's psyche in a thriller-mystery.

This is an involved plot -- actually, this is an understatement. So, I will just touch on the highlights. Cal Harper, a disgraced (and fired) federal agent, now combs the side-streets of Fort Lauderdale, looking for homeless folks needing help. When he suddenly meets his injured father after 19 years of no word, Cal is pulled into a wild chase for THE BOOK OF LIES. Legend has it that this book came from God to Adam and then to his son(s).

How disparate facts fit together into the plot weren't always given their due, so the reader could stay with the reasoning. The book starts at a good pace, accelerates until about the middle, then fizzles for awhile and races to the end.

The unique plot kept me reading until the end; I don't want to give the impression that I am sorry I read the book. I found myself admiring how an author could devise and execute such an imaginative tale.

Fortunately, the author has closing comments, to explain some things readers might question. Actually, I read this through my library's audio cd (talking books) program. Scott Brick was a perfect voice to carry the story. This one is hard to rate: 3.5 to 4 stars.

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