Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Book Of Secrets Book Of Secrets
by Chris Roberson
Angry Robot

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Books of Secrets is the fourteenth book by Chris Roberson, but his first in the Angry Robot imprint.

For reasons of my own, namely that I was enjoying the books that I had read in the Angry Robot imprint and that Mr Roberson was an experienced author, I was expecting a better than average, well written story. I was disappointed.

Book of Secrets starts as a standard journalistic detective story. The viewpoint character is a detective who is researching an opinion piece on a vaguely tainted, local worthy and gets a promising lead on some dirt. The book then becomes a road story, replete with back stories (what is this fascination with back stories?), interspersed with a series of stories about a character known as the Black Hand who shares a family name with the viewpoint character. Near the end the story takes a path much less travelled and flirts, nay, copulates in public with a brand of Gnosticism that smells strongly of Roman Catholicism (the censer-swinging chorus line from the Society of Jesus it took as a clue). And the book dribbled on to its ending.

Somewhere in the mishmash that was Book of Secrets there was a really good story waiting to be told. This time around the author decided not to tell that story, but presented this muddle instead.

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