History Thrillers books
There are certain “puzzle” books that I absolutely adore, mysteries tied up in history, covered in drama with some romance and suspense to keep the plot surging along. They can be done very poorly if the author is just in it for the cheap thrill, but when they are right, when the history is true, the characters are honest and the sense of foreboding is palpable, then they are some of the best reading ever. Katherine Neville’s The Eight is probably my all time favorite puzzle book and one I have been trying to find a worthy successor to forever. I got lucky a month ago when I sat down to read The Geographer’s Library. It not only serves as an honest heir Neville’s book about Charlemagne and a chess set for the ages, but manages to do so with an excellent international storyline that never strays into the dreaded travelogue territory. In fact, with this book author Jon Fasman has made me a fan of an obscure 12th century Muslim geographer who I’m sure most of the Western world had never heard of. Well, wake up America because you need to know about Azzam Abd Salih Jafar Khalid Idris. What I wanted to know was how Fasman learned about "al-Idrisi" in the first place and how he managed to juggle so much history and geography along with a very contemporary mystery about a college professor who may or may not have been murdered. It could not have been easy to write this book although for the reader it is a seductive foray into the best sort of dream and ends with a surprising question about morals and courage and just who the good guys really are.
In terms of location, Geographer takes its readers from Italy to Estonia to Russia and then lands in the very typical American small town of Lincoln, Connecticut. There are numerous side trips however, from places as varied as a labor camp in Northern Siberia, a bazaar in Ashbagat, Turkmenistan, the fictional Aubrey College set at Oxford University and a Chinese restaurant in LaGrange Park, Illinois. There is a lot for the characters to do and say in this book, a lot of hunting up clues and suspecting foul play. The back story is where nearly all of the travel takes place, from al-Idrisi’s initial journey in 1154 to the wanderings of a Russian killer who somehow must have something to do with the main storyline, although Fasman holds those connections pretty close to his chest throughout the book. The main plotline is that of Lincoln newspaperman Paul Tomm who is assigned to write the obituary for local professor, Jaan Puhapaev. There are just enough small questions surrounding Puhapaev’s death and solitary, unorthodox life to make Tomm expand his dull assignment into a full fledged investigation. As he takes steps into better understanding the dead Estonian who seemed to be less known by everyone around him than anyone realized, he unwittingly uncovers plots and plans that involve people and places he has never heard of, and cannot imagine a connection to. In short, Paul Tomm, young aimless reporter from Small Town, America, finds himself inside of a conspiracy that seems to be escalating at every turn. He reminded me of Robert Redford coming back to the office with lunch only to find all of his coworkers dead in Three Days of the Condor. Tomm knows too much, but doesn’t know what he knows. Is there a worse position for someone to be in, or a better one us to read about?
The Protocol (A James Acton Thriller, Book #1) (James Acton Thrillers)
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Looking for book recommendations for vacation2010-07-06 09:26:36 by timothyaron
I'm going on vacation at the end of the month and want to bring some books to read while lounging at the beach. I like fiction and nonfiction alike, though I'd rather not bring something too dense on the nonfiction side since it's supposed to be relaxing :)
On the fiction side, I tend to like thrillers, historical mysteries and science fiction. In nonfiction, I like stuff that relates to sociology, history and of course atheism.
Das Death: I (Alternate History WW2 Thriller)
eBooks (The Purple Book Co.)
Michael Jackson - Video Greatest Hits - HIStory
The History Thief
Book (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
The Secret History