/ Key title A blisteringly high-concept serial killer thriller combined with a delicious religious conspiracy theory from a hot new British talent. / A treat for all fans of top-notch thrillers and mind-boggling conspiracy theories: THE STRAW MEN meets THE DA VINCI CODE / Sam Bourne is the pseudonym for an award-winning British journalist in his 30s. He's highly promotable / Competition: Dan Brown, Harlan Coben, Michael Marshall, Jack Kerley,
Sam Bourne is the pseudonym of an award-winning British journalist in his 30s.
Bourne's first novel, with a jacket that promises ancient secrets and mysterious manuscripts, has all the obligatory religious-thriller elements. Unfortunately, his hero, fledgling New York Times reporter Will Monroe Jr., is clueless, the structure unoriginal, the code-breaking boring, the earth-shattering threat unbelievable and the writing often clumsy ("Will felt his eyes soaking with tears"). Will, while investigating his first murder story, discovers that the victim, a pimp with multiple stab wounds, has a heart of gold and is indeed a "righteous man." After Will writes about another righteous man's murder, Will's wife, Beth, is abducted. Will's search for Beth leads him to the insular Hasidic community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where he undergoes a bit of torture while learning the history of Judaism. Eventually, Will unearths a vast conspiracy whose goal is Armageddon, the end of the world. Bourne, the pseudonym of British journalist Jonathan Freedland, has done his homework, but the heavy breathing one senses is not the sound of captivated readers whipping through the pages but rather that of an anxious author frantically attempting to hammer his extensive research into the mold of bestselling fiction. Rights sold in 24 countries. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
'The best thriller I've read in years.' Piers Morgan
'The biggest challenger to Dan Brown's crown ... a highly charged, theologically accurate tale' Mirror
'Compulsive reading ... successfully blends ancient teachings with the highly charged ways of the 21st century ... bears all the hallmarks of a blockbuster' Daily Express
'More readable than The Da Vinci Code - the sense of menace is darker and the characters more believable' Esquire
'A turbocharged thriller' In Style
'Will be compared, inevitably, to The Da Vinci Code. The similarities are difficult to ignore, but it's far better written ... will thrill any conspiracy-theory fans ... a highly enjoyable read' Psychologies
Will Monroe, a young and ambitious New York Times journalist investigating the seemingly unrelated deaths of men with widely disparate backgrounds on opposite ends of the country, becomes ensnared in a nightmare when his wife is kidnapped. Desperate to save her, Will enlists the assistance of computer genius Tom Fontaine, a former college friend, and Will's brilliant ex-girlfriend, T.C. Lieberman. Tracing the computer threats to an Internet caf? located in an ultraorthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, Will and T.C. uncover an assassination plot to kill 36 righteous men mentioned in an obscure biblical legend. Their race to save these men leads to a shocking revelation. Bourne's swiftly moving plot is hampered by awkward characterization, but the multiple action scenes and shocking twist at the end are sure to please readers. Offering a new take on the religion-based thriller, this fiction debut by Bourne (a pen name for British journalist Jonathan Freedland) is recommended for popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/06.]-Joy St. John, Henderson Dist. P.L., NV Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.