Give Brad Metlzer props for his ambition. Some writers would be content to merely create a conspiracy laden story about the first murder in history, that of Abel by his brother Cain. Others would be intrigued to explore the alleged murder of Mitchell Seigel and how that lead to the creation of the most-recognized superhero in the world, Superman.
“The Book of Lies” focues on the mysteries surrounding both deaths and the impact they have on the life of our hero, Cal Harper. Years ago, Cal’s mother was killed in a fight with his father. Dad went to jail and Cal was orphaned, losing all contact with his father until one fateful night. While out on a round for the homeless shelter he works at, Cal finds his father, shot and bleeding. Cal takes him to the hospital and before long is caught up in a vast conspiracy involving the original creators of Superman and the question of just what exactly was “the mark of Cain.”
Meltzer keeps the pace of “The Book of Lies” fast enough that despite some absurd and crazy plot twists, that it’s easy to go with the flow and not say, “Oh come on now.” This is the book-equivalent of a pop-corn movie–just sit back and enjoy the fun and don’t overthink it. (I know..that’s hard for me, but I did it). If you do that, you’ll probably enjoy this a great deal. I did and while it may not be the best book I’ve ever read and stick with me years from now, I had a lot of fun reading it. Meltzer has a great writing style that is fun and the momentum of the story kept the plot moving.
About the only detail that really took me out of the book was the revelation of who is behind the plot. But it wasn’t enough to ruin this one for me.