American Harold Middleton is a music professor and former war crimes investigator who is called to Poland to assess whether or not a manuscript purpor..Show More »ted to be an original, previously undiscovered, Chopin is genuine or a fake. However, the man that Harold meets with is murdered soon after their meeting and it soon becomes clear that there is more to the manuscript than mere rarity.
For what is essentially a publishing gimmick the book is delightfully entertaining. The plot rollicks along with red herrings and shocking twists aplenty, just as a good thriller should. The only evidence that the story is written by 15 different people is that there are perhaps a few more characters than normal, but the upside to that is that there are more genuine surprises than you might expect with a book authored by a sole writer who has pet characters and plot threads. There are several themes which are carried throughout the book, such as the role of music, and these help to produce a surprisingly cohesive story.
None of the characters are particularly well developed, there are too many and the book too short for that, but as this is a book all about a fast paced plot that's not a huge turnoff on this occasion. There was enough information to glean about Harold, his daughter Charlie, the evil Faust and a few of the other characters to engage my interest and keep me listening.
The book is narrated by actor Alfred Molina who does a superb job of handling the dialogue-rich story which features a couple of dozen characters.
Phenomenal, addictive, interest-grabbing from the start and steams along at a steady pace. This book is incredibly well written and Alfred Molina is b..Show More »rilliant.
I have lost a lot of sleep listening to this book that refused to let me turn it off.
The only downside is I have to wait another year for more.
I loved how much it reminded me of listening to radio dramas with my dad when I was growing up. He used to put on The Shadow or Mystery Theatre and w..Show More »e'd just lie on the living room floor, imagining the whole story as it unfolded. He really taught me to listen, and it's great to be able to pass on new stories to my teens so they can enjoy the same experience. They love graphic novels--it's kind of the audio version of that.