Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book Review: "The Book of Air and Shadows"

The latest "literary thriller" I've read is Michael Gruber's The Book of Air and Shadows, (2007, William Morrow). This one's about a lost Shakespeare manuscript, which can only be discovered by deciphering a series of letters written by a contemporary of Shakespeare's and found hidden within the bindings of set of travel volumes.

Peopled by interesting and decently complex characters and a good number of suitable plot twists, The Book of Air and Shadows managed to keep me guessing right to the end (something I always appreciate when reading a book like this). Gruber's narrative mechanism, which alternates for most of the book between three distinct voices, is useful and serves to add to the suspense. While a few of the plot devices are a little silly, the book manages to hold its own, and was worth reading.


Francesca Thomas said...

I want to read this for the Shaksprear mystery. But , and I have mentioned this before, I dont like the ciphers. Looking for letters in certain volumes & bindings, means anyone can make the bindings say anything. And that to me is NOT a cipher.


JBD said...

I take your meaning, but in this case there are actually written letters (on paper) secreted under the leather covers in the binding of the book. It is those letters which are written in ciphered text and must be 'translated'.