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The Book of Air and Shadows
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Praised author Gruber (Tropic of Night) attempts to join The Da Vinci Code frenzy in his latest thriller, which centers on a hunt for an unknown autographed Shakespeare play. References to this play turn up in seemingly innocuous letters used as filler in the binding of an old book. Mishkin, an intellectual property attorney, comes into possession of some of these documents through his client, a Shakespearean scholar. Crosetti, who discovered the papers while working at a rare-book store, partners with Mishkin to find the play after the scholar's murder. The play is eventually found, but has it all been an intricate scam? Though the book sounds enthralling on paper, it falls far short. The letters are transcribed for us-slow-reading Jacobean English thrust into a thriller. Think rumble strips on an interstate. Gruber is heavy on the family drama and introspection, too. The best part: librarians are portrayed as brilliant and sexy. This difficult-to-follow novel is recommended only for popular fiction collections desiring all of this author's titles. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/06.]-Laura A.B. Cifelli, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

In this ingenious literary thriller from Gruber (The Witch's Boy), the lives of two men are changed forever by William Shakespeare and the letters of Richard Bracegirdle, a 16th-century English spy and soldier. Jake Mishkin, a Manhattan intellectual property attorney and a bit of a rake, goes on the run from Russian gangsters. Albert Crosetti, an aspiring filmmaker working for an antiquarian bookstore, finds that life is more exciting than movies-perhaps too exciting. Together, Mishkin and Crosetti travel to England in search of a previously unknown Shakespeare manuscript mentioned by Bracegirdle. Though the pace sometimes slows to allow Mishkin, Crosetti and Bracegirdle to divulge interesting aspects of their personal lives, these digressions only make the story more engaging. The suspense created around the double-crosses and triple-crosses works because of the close connection readers forge with Crosetti in particular. The mysterious murder of a Shakespearean scholar, shootouts in the streets of Queens and an unlikely romance all combine to make for a gripping, satisfying read. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Entertaining. A wild ride." -- Charlotte Observer, Best Books of Summer "One of the best new writers in the genre." -- Charlotte Observer "(An) intelligent thrill ride." -- Tampa Tribune "Smart and irreverent." -- Arizona Republic "Gruber is no ordinary writer." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Very good...ingenious and suspenseful." -- Maclean's (An) intelligent thrill ride. --Tampa Tribune Smart and irreverent. --Arizona Republic "A gripping literary thriller. A taut novel that offers ingenious puzzles plus murderous threats along the way."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Fearless, intricate and intelligent. Stylish and confident prose. Dialogue that respects a reader's intelligence. A smart and original plot."--Seattle Times "(An) intelligent thrill ride."--Tampa Tribune "A wild ride of a thriller. The characters have depth, histories and believability."--Wichita Eagle "If you love books, make room on the shelf for a new guilty pleasure."--Washington Post "(An) intoxicating mix of fact, fiction, secret codes and ancient conspiracies...well-written and cleverly told. A terrific thriller."--Edmonton Journal (Canada) "Smart and irreverent."--Arizona Republic "A smart thriller. Gruber's themes may be lofty but his people are fully fleshed. An engaging adventure."--Boston Globe "A dead genius, a sleuthing couple with romantic chemistry, and some bad guys...it's a fun party."--Entertainment Weekly "Very good...ingenious and suspenseful."--Maclean's "A fast-moving tale about the world of rare books. A wonderful story with absolutely superb casting."--Kirkus Reviews (starred) "One of the best new writers in the genre."--Charlotte Observer "Entertaining. A wild ride."--Charlotte Observer, Best Books of Summer "An intricately crafted and literate work (that) should give the (thriller) genre a good shake."--Denver Post "A wonderful book, brimming with energy, suspense, wit and fascinating details about the rare book business. A fast-paced yarn that is part Henry James, part James Bond.--Chicago Tribune "Not since Bayatt's POSSESSION has an author so successfully combined literary puzzle, tempestuous duplicity, human adventure and good storytelling."--BookPage "Finely-honed prose, ambitious structure and captivating characters...This is a whip-smart adventure that surpasses its competitors with dexterity."--Rocky Mountain News "Gruber is no ordinary writer."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "MIchael Gruber pulls out all the stops (in) an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse."--Newsday "Another one of [Gruber's] patently intricate thrillers."--TheMorningNews.com "Few thrillers will surpass [this book] when it comes to energetic writing, compellingly flawed characters, literary scholarship and mathematical conundrums."--USA Today "A crackling whodunit. Characters (with) rich inner lives that transmute genre fiction into literature."--Dallas Morning News "(An) entertaining thriller with Da Vinci Code appeal but far better writing."--Ventura County Star "Quirky, flawed characters, tricksy first-person narration, and nimble, witty prose. Gruber is the real deal."--Salon.com Few thrillers will surpass [this book] when it comes to energetic writing, compellingly flawed characters, literary scholarship and mathematical conundrums. --USA Today" A smart thriller. Gruber s themes may be lofty but his people are fully fleshed. An engaging adventure. --Boston Globe" If you love books, make room on the shelf for a new guilty pleasure. --Washington Post" An intricately crafted and literate work (that) should give the (thriller) genre a good shake. --Denver Post" Fearless, intricate and intelligent. Stylish and confident prose. Dialogue that respects a reader s intelligence. A smart and original plot. --Seattle Times" A dead genius, a sleuthing couple with romantic chemistry, and some bad guys...it s a fun party. --Entertainment Weekly" Very good...ingenious and suspenseful. --Maclean's" Entertaining. A wild ride. --Charlotte Observer, Best Books of Summer" Smart and irreverent. --Arizona Republic" (An) intoxicating mix of fact, fiction, secret codes and ancient conspiracies...well-written and cleverly told. A terrific thriller. --Edmonton Journal (Canada)" A crackling whodunit. Characters (with) rich inner lives that transmute genre fiction into literature. --Dallas Morning News" (An) entertaining thriller with Da Vinci Code appeal but far better writing. --Ventura County Star" Finely-honed prose, ambitious structure and captivating characters...This is a whip-smart adventure that surpasses its competitors with dexterity. --Rocky Mountain News" Quirky, flawed characters, tricksy first-person narration, and nimble, witty prose. Gruber is the real deal. --Salon.com" Another one of [Gruber s] patently intricate thrillers. --TheMorningNews.com" Gruber is no ordinary writer. --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" A gripping literary thriller. A taut novel that offers ingenious puzzles plus murderous threats along the way. --Seattle Post-Intelligencer" MIchael Gruber pulls out all the stops (in) an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse. --Newsday" (An) intelligent thrill ride. --Tampa Tribune" Ingenious...engaging...a gripping, satisfying read. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)" A wonderful book, brimming with energy, suspense, wit and fascinating details about the rare book business. A fast-paced yarn that is part Henry James, part James Bond.--Chicago Tribune" A wild ride of a thriller. The characters have depth, histories and believability. --Wichita Eagle" Gruber deftly raises the thriller stakes and accelerates the plot while still creating convincing personal journeys for his characters. --Booklist (starred review)" Not since Bayatt s POSSESSION has an author so successfully combined literary puzzle, tempestuous duplicity, human adventure and good storytelling. --BookPage" A fast-moving tale about the world of rare books. A wonderful story with absolutely superb casting. --Kirkus Reviews (starred)" One of the best new writers in the genre. --Charlotte Observer" "Gruber deftly raises the thriller stakes and accelerates the plot while still creating convincing personal journeys for his characters."--Booklist (starred review) "Ingenious...engaging...a gripping, satisfying read."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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