It’s a Mystery: The Book of Lies, by Brad Meltzer

4.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate villain vs ultimate hero

We all know the Superman stories, but most of us don’t realize that they were created back in the ’30’s by a teenager, Jerry Siegal, who had just lost his father to murder. Thriller writer Brad Meltzer has been fascinated by this footnote to history, and in The Book of Lies, he weaves a legend of his own around the true story. Cal Harper is in for a shock when the injured homeless man he stops to help turns out to be his long-estranged father. Before the night is out, Cal finds himself in the fight of his life, racing against the US government and the underground Nazi cult of the Thules to find “the totem”, the “mark” God gave to Cain. Along the way, Cal is forced to reformulate all his ideas about truth, love, trust, and immortality. The Book of Lies is fun to read, chock full of quirky characters and plot zigs and zags. I didn’t find it especially suspenseful, but simply a non-stop, breathless race to get to the prize, whatever it may be, before the bad guys get their hands on it. Of course the Cain/Abel component is fanciful, but the Superman background is factual and compelling. The author has been involved with a movement to save the Siegal house in Cleveland, and promote public awareness of the legacy of Jerry Siegal. Gotta admire that.


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