Book Review: The Book of Lies

Meltzer has attempted an unusual melding of the Biblical tale of Cain and Abel with the Superman character in this slow moving who-done-it. After his father’s murder in 1932, son Jerry Siegel dreams of a man who gave rise to the comic book hero. Like the weapon used in Abel’s murder, the gun used to kill Jerry’s father was never discovered. That is, until more murders were committed with the same gun almost sixty years later. They are connected by The Book of Lies and it seems everyone is out to gain possession of it and its potential power.

At the heart of the story is Cal Harper, a Fort Lauderdale homeless shelter volunteer who, after coming to the aid of a shooting victim, found himself becoming embroiled with those searching for The Book of Lies. With a nod towards Dan Brown, Meltzer includes obfuscating riddles, an assortment of secret societies and villains along with a wealth of walk-on characters, but the Book of Lies may prove to be something very different from expectations.

Long sessions of dialog detract more then they aid the story as they slowed the pace to a crawl. The basic idea was actually quite novel but could have benefited from fewer characters, agendas or unlikely coincidences as they repeatedly stretch reasonable credibility. Still, the conclusion is sweet and thought provoking as it reminds us of the important things in life.


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