‘When the National Security Agency’s invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code in cannot break, the agency calls in its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician.’
How old is this book *flicks through front pages* okay 1998.
In that case I’ll forgive how dated it is and make sure that keep in mind that this is Mr Brown’s first thriller. But after than my leniency ends.
Twelve pages in and I was already pissed off by floating perspectives, irritating lovey-dovey perfect man-woman couples of brilliantness, and the persistent, protracted spiels of how great one person is or how unlucky another is. I feel somehow that the Phoenix Writers would have a field day with this one.
From the start my brain was hammered with pages and pages of back story gunk that the tale itself just did not want. I knew all about how the perfect couple met and how they were getting married and how well done they liked their bloody toast (that’s an exaggeration) but none of it is relevant to the rest of the book.
I suppose it terms of story, if I want a mindless read, there’s enough there to keep me happy. Its plain enough English that all the ‘technical’ and ‘science’ speak isn’t too taxing to get your head around and therefore one is able to merrily keep turning the pages while half singing along to whatever Radio One might be playing.
Since I am one of those people who refuses to leave a book without finishing it (damnit!) I did get to the end of the piece, but I’ll tell you what; 100 pages from the end I was begging for it all to stop. I knew who the ‘killer’ was. I knew what the code was. I knew that nobody would be able to fix it except for the perfect couple reunited across the miles to confess their love and save the day as a sort of afterthought. I suppose its fortunate they could be distracted well enough from each other to make sure the world got saved; or else where would we be?!
I don’t mean to be quite so venomous – or maybe I do? – but this chap is the same one who wrote the Da Vinci Code. Now there’s another book I’ve not read, but with all the hype and films and gushing that happens about it, I have to wonder if its one of those things that’s all smoke and no fire. *ahem*Twilight!*ahem*
Perhaps because, at the end of the day, I myself am so normal, I hate wonderfully beautiful characters and incredibly intelligent leads. For goodness sake, the best stories are about people and the mistakes that we make, but if these people are so perfect then it just makes it all the more irksome when they do something daft! Like the characters of this book seemed to do over and over and over.
Meh. I picked this up for free from a book-swap at work so I shouldn’t complain too much. I’ll just say that it was entertaining enough, but if I wanted something I’d pick up and read again, this book is not it. Soweee.