In Library of the Dead, Will Piper, of the FBI, is called in to investigate the Doomsday serial murder case. It's extremely weird because each victim was notified of their impending death via postcard. Just as things get interesting and Piper seems to be hot on the trail, he's yanked off the case. He continues to investigate anyway and uncovers a bizarre, intricate and puzzling secret that dates back to the 8th century and a young boy with an extraordinary gift.
Awesome first novel! I devoured this book. It contained a wonderfully woven plot involving British monks in the 8th century (the year 777 to be exact), the British government (with Churchill as the Prime Minister) in the 1940s and Area 51 in present day, 2009. A couple of the scenes were a little harsh, but otherwise this book was easy to read and fast-paced. The gripping plot is full of intrigue and will leave you asking if free will exists or if our fates are predetermined.
It reminded me a little of novels by James Rollins in that it blends mystery with history. However, I found that Cooper's thriller contained less action. That's not to say it was boring. In fact, I really had a hard time putting it down. I got the shivers more than once when I realized what was happening and saw how the story was coming together. It was pretty scary. However, that was nothing compared to the extremely tense and unexpected ending. I was so involved in the story I didn't have time (or desire) to think about how this could conclude, so when it happened, my only words were "Oh. My. God".
Despite the fact that the story jumped around through the different time periods, it wasn't hard to follow at all. Cooper does a magnificent job of leading the reader from one time period to the next. It also helped that there was a date at the beginning of the chapters.
New Words Alert:
1) consigliore (page 210) (also spelled consigliere) means "counsellor" in Italian. Additionally, it has the specific connotation of "counselor to a Mafia boss".
2)tonsured (page 216): partially shaved head - a shaved patch on the crown of the head of a priest or monk in some religious orders.
This book was published in the United States as Secret of the Seventh Son.
Highly recommended. Cooper is definitely on my authors-to-watch list. I can't wait for the sequel, Book of Souls due out in March 2010.
For more information about this book, please visit the HarperCollins Canada website.
For more information about the author and other interesting stuff, please visit Glenn Cooper's website.
I'd like to thank those nice people at HarperCollins Canada for this review copy.
Library of the Dead by Glenn Cooper, HarperCollins, ©2009. ISBN 9781554683093(Trade Paperback), 393p.