Those are the words of Jake Mishkin, whose seemingly innocent job as an intellectual property lawyer has put him at the center of a deadly conspiracy and a chase to find a priceless treasure involving William Shakespeare. As he awaits a killer (or killers) unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began when a fire in an antiquarian bookstore revealed the hiding place of letters containing a shocking secret, concealed for 400 years. In a frantic race from New York to England and Switzerland, Jake finds himself matching wits with a shadowy figure who seems to anticipate his every move. What at first seems like a thrilling puzzle waiting to be deciphered soon turns into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which no one - not family, not friends, not lovers - is to be trusted.
Moving between 21st-century America and 17th-century England, The Book of Air and Shadows is a modern thriller that brilliantly re-creates William Shakespeare's life at the turn of the 17th century and combines an ingenious and intricately layered plot with a devastating portrait of a contemporary man on the brink of self-discovery...or self-destruction.
©2007 Michael Gruber; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"A wonderful story" (Kirkus)
"A wild story....Engrossing." (The Washington Post)
"[With] intelligence and engaging style...Gruber raises the thriller stakes." (Booklist)
I rarely ever stop reading, or listening to, a particular book, but I just couldn't get past the narration on this one. His looong, slooow inflections made the story more pretentious, if possible, and made the characters even less likeable. That's the other thing -- even without the narration issue, the only character in this book who is remotely likeable is Albert the computer guy who discovers the letter. Admittedly, I only got about a quarter to a third of the way through, so I suppose someone might have grown on me if I could've stuck it out. I don't have any problem with flawed characters, or anit-heroes, but most of these characters are just annoying.
I stayed with this book because of the quality of the background research and the plot. But derar Lord! The narrator was the worst i have ever heqrd - every sentence ending with a sad, dying fall, although the character (if you listen to the text) is actually an energetic, extremely active man. This is the only narration i have actually disliked.
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