I’ve always loved the idea of a ‘book within a book’, so imagine my delight when I discovered The Book of Mirrors – a crime fiction read that should be on everyone’s 2017 ‘to be read’ list.
ONE MAN’S TRUTH IS ANOTHER MAN’S LIE.
When big-shot literary agent Peter Katz receives an unfinished manuscript entitled The Book of Mirrors, he is intrigued.
The author, Richard Flynn is writing a memoir about his time at Princeton in the late 80s, documenting his relationship with the famous Professor Joseph Wieder.
One night in 1987, Wieder was brutally murdered in his home and the case was never solved.
Peter Katz is hell-bent on getting to the bottom of what happened that night twenty-five years ago and is convinced the full manuscript will reveal who committed the violent crime.
But other people’s recollections are dangerous weapons to play with, and this might be one memory that is best kept buried.
Can we pause for a second and appreciate the amazing cover of this book, the shards of broken glass flying off the black background with the red font!? My interpretation: we try our best to remember past events and recall memories but can you ever really remember something one hundred percent accurately? The account is likely become distorted with time, just like looking in a broken mirror, your view is fragmented, and if you try to place the pieces of glass back together, you’ll likely cut yourself so maybe your mind thinks it’s better to forget, to leave the broken glass and invent new memories. This idea is played out in this book.
Part one is the manuscript, the ‘book within a book’, section. Richard Flynn details his relationship with his love interest, Laura Baines, who also happened to be the one who introduced him to the famous Professor Joseph Wieder. When Wieder is found murdered, Flynn is a suspect. Is his memoir a confession of his guilt, a revelation of someone elses guilt or simply made up? The manuscript is left unfinished, so you have no choice but to read on.
Upon finishing part one, I knew I had to know how this mystery ended, and that led to me reading this book in one sitting. Part 2 details the investigative efforts of journalist, John Keller, tasked with the job of finding the rest of the manuscript; part 3 concludes with Roy Freeman, the detective who worked on the original investigation, who is hoping he can finally lay this case to rest.
With a complex plot and a theme of unreliable memory, the reader could become easily confused and find the story hard to follow. That is not the case here – Chirovici’s simple writing style allows the reader to easily follow the story. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the writing, contrasted against the complexity of the human memory and truth, it allows the reader to see the ‘truth’ from three different perspectives, whose ‘truth’ to believe however, only you can decide.
This book is clever and compelling, you never really feel connected to any of the characters so don’t think they’re going to do anything to specifically please you, you’re just privileged to observe from afar.
Sold in 38 territories around the world, this book is going to be a 2017 smash (but don’t cut yourself on the glass) hit!
*My thanks to Francesca Russell at Penguin Random House UK for providing me with a copy of this book*