From Publishers Weekly
A young investment banker burrows deep into a labyrinthine world of computer games and literary riddles in this captivating thriller by Time book critic Grossman (Warp). On a two-week vacation before he heads for a new post in London, 25-year-old golden boy Edward Wozny volunteers his services to the Wents, the duchess and duke of Bowmry, two of the firm's biggest clients. Since he assumes they require his financial expertise, he is exasperatedand then intriguedto discover they wish him to catalogue a collection of ancient books in the attic of their New York apartment. Captivated by the library of rare manuscripts, Edward finds himself oddly content in this mystifying world of words. A special request adds extra urgency to the assignment: he is asked to find a possibly mythical codex by 14th-century monk Gervase of Langford, A Viage to the Contree of the Cimmerians. Most scholars believe that the textwhich predicts the coming of the apocalypse and may conceal Went family secretsnever existed, and that view is shared by Margaret Napier, a hard-nosed graduate student whom Edward enlists to aid him in his daunting task. Fixated on locating the codex, Edward becomes equally preoccupied with MOMUS, an intricate, frighteningly vivid computer game. Cyberworld and real world are more connected than Edward realizes, and he gradually discovers that the game is intimately related to his literary sleuthing. A trip to England and a well-orchestrated final twist bring this intelligent, enjoyable novel to a fittingly understated conclusion. Author appearances in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.
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Grossman, book critic at Time
, adds a new twist to the emerging bibliothriller subgenre by combining rare books with computer gaming (something old, something new). The book at the heart of the mystery is a medieval codex by one Gervase of Langford. Edward Wozny, a fast-track investment banker, is about to leave New York for a new job in London when he is asked for help by one of his firm's important clients, who wants him to catalog a collection of rare books. Edward is aghast: a banker asked to do librarian's work! Inevitably, though, he is drawn into the project and the multiple mysteries it holds, but there is another distraction: his computer-geek friend has hooked Edward on a bizarre, interactive computer game that may be more than it seems. There's a lot going on here, both online and in the library, and most of it is thoroughly fascinating. We never quite believe that banker Edward would so quickly become a biblio-detective-cum-computer-gamer, but we're glad he did. Pair this with Zafon's Shadow of the Wind
[BKL Mr 1 04]. Bill OttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved