Author: Brad Meltzer
Release Date: 9/2/2008
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
In Chapter Four of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. It is the world's most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history.
In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world's greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain's murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found.
Today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cal Harper comes face-to-face with his family's greatest secret: his long-lost father, who's been shot with a gun that traces back to Mitchell Siegel's 1932 murder. But before Cal can ask a single question, he and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the ancient markings of Cain. And so begins the chase for the world's first murder weapon.
What does Cain, history's greatest villain, have to do with Superman, the world's greatest hero? And what do two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common? This is the mystery at the heart of Brad Meltzer's riveting and utterly intriguing new thriller
I heard Brad Meltzer speak at the National Book Festival in 2008 about his new book The Book of Lies. At that point, I had read one book by him (The Book of Fate) which was pretty good. However, after listening to his inspiration for The Book of Lies, as well as his enthusiasm and passion about the book, I became convinced that this was a novel I had to read.
Meltzer’s inspiration for The Book of Lies was the unsolved murder of Mitchell Siegel, the father of Superman creator Jerry Siegel. He obviously spend a lot of time and effort researching and finding out as much as possible about the history and circumstances of the murder. The reader can feel his enthusiasm as they are racing through this novel. It really draws you in.
The Book of Lies was a novel I simply could not put down. Meltzer is a master at creating and building suspense. I felt so connected to the story and what was going on. I also found the mystery of Mitchell Siegel’s murder very compelling, especially knowing that all the facts surrounding it are true from Meltzer’s National Book Festival speech. It was an incredibly well-crafted book – even if you aren’t a fan of thrillers, you should find something to enjoy in this novel
I have to admit, the Cain-Abel connection was a little bit difficult to believe. While I think it was a great “hook,” I think the real heart of the story was Jerry Siegel. I would even venture to say that Brad Meltzer probably agrees with me on that point.
Unsure about how passionate Brad Meltzer actually is about Jerry Siegel’s story? The video on this website will change your mind. This is a project that Meltzer started after visiting the house in which Superman was created and being appalled by the horrible condition it was in. Please take the time to poke around the website, Ordinary People Change the World. If you’re inspired, maybe you’ll want to donate some money or spread the word? If you’re curious, here is the shirt that I bought in order to support their efforts.