The Rule of Four - Book Review
Forget The Da Vinci Code! For a book well grounded in history and intrigue, turn to this academic thriller.
Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason teamed up to create a mystery that is well paced, well grounded in fact, and compelling. This is a mystery for those who like to think. It is also a mystery that doesn't insult the intelligence of the reader. Unlike the poor history of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, The Rule of Four never insults the reader's intelligence.
This mystery is centered about the academic intrigue of Princeton University. Four college friends attempt to solve the riddles of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (HIP-nair-OTT-oh-MOCK-ee-uh Poe-LIFF-il-ee). This real manuscript serves as the focal point of the story, the friendships, relationships between students and professors, and father and son.
Tom Sullivan's father spent his life attempting to decode the mystery of the Hypnerotomachia. Sullivan becomes bound to another literature student, Paul Harris, in his attempts to complete the work of Sullivan's father. Who attempts to steal Harris' work and attempts to save it will keep the reader seared to the story. The machinations of academia will leave the innocent gasping.
The Rule of Four has good atmosphere with Princeton rituals giving life to the environment, but they never over take the story. The ivy league world will never seem the same.
The reader waits for the build-up, to the great reveal.....As the clues were unfolded I echoed what the characters said. The facts were founded in history. The fiction was believable. Granted, for me, one of the great sorrows of art was alleviated by the solution. I literally shouted for joy!
Caldwell and Thomason have given readers a great gift. Accept it, enjoy it, and rejoice.
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