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The Book of Lies    by Brad Meltzer order for
Book of Lies
by Brad Meltzer
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of unusual, high-octane thrillers including The Book of Fate, The Millionaires and The Zero Game, now brings fans something different in The Book of Lies, more in the style of The Da Vinci Code sub-genre. Like Dan Brown, Meltzer roots his modern thriller in a biblical puzzle - that surrounding the weapon Cain used to murder his brother Abel. But he also throws in a more modern one - the unsolved murder of Jerry Siegel's father and how that stimulated his imagination to create the story of Superman.

Young Cal Harper's life imploded when his bipolar mother died (accidentally) at his father's hands when he was seven - his father was jailed and Cal left guilt-ridden. Nineteen years later, he lives in Miami, Florida, where he works with the homeless. About to intersect with his life is that of cold killer Ellis who, with his dog Benoni (also the name of Abel's dog), has trailed the ancient Book of Lies across the world. It begins for Cal when he finds his long-lost father Lloyd wounded and bleeding in a park on his regular route to check for the homeless.

Lloyd was hired to deliver a shipment that's on hold with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, for whom Cal used to work. Cal uses a contact there, his friend Timothy, to get the container of frozen shrimp released. They follow Lloyd to a stretch of road called Alligator Alley, where he's stopped by a cop. Soon all hell breaks loose, leaving Lloyd and Cal on the run and looking for answers. Joining them is Lloyd's young friend Serena. On their trail is female Rambo, U.S. Customs and Border Special Agent Naomi Molina. And in the background are two wily manipulators - the Judge and the Prophet.

There's plenty of action, with surprises and betrayals around every corner, an intriguing conspiracy theory surrounding Mitchell Siegel's shooting, and a final revelation of the long sought secret of immortality. Brad Meltzer can always be counted on for an entertaining read with an unusual slant to it - and he delivers once again in The Book of Lies.

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