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In contrast to the other mystery novel I read recently, most of Tom Harper’s The Book of Secrets does feel ‘right’. It is well paced. The motivation for the protagonists actions is clear and credible. The interleaving of the two time lines slowly builds a momentum that lead to the novel being a real page turner. Since to story focuses on one person in each time line these protagonists are rather well portrayed, they just have the right amount of depth; the minor characters are, however, a little under-developed.

Since the protagonist of the present time line is not an “expert” on the central elements of the past time line — in fact, he is rather ignorant about almost everything except his profession, hobbies ans social network — there are, fortunately, only a few pseudo-scientific-accurate references and explanations about what is / was going on. A circumstance that lends the story more credibility — paradoxically.

Another noteworthy difference to many other history-mystery novels that contain references to religion and the catholic church: there is no holy grail, no artifact designed to bring down the church.

In a nutshell, I enjoyed this novel. It is certainly one of the better fiction books published in 2009.