Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Brad Meltzer's Book of Lies seeks the truth about the Mark of Cain and The Man of Steel

Cal Harper is a former ICE agent(who left under dark circumstances)who now spends his day as a volunteer worker,driving around Ft. Lauderdale's high spots and low ones to give aid to homeless people.

His best friend these days is Roosevelt,a good natured former minister that was forced out of his church simply because he refused to follow the norm. One night,Cal and Roosevelt come across a gunshot man in a local park. The victim is not your average homeless man(his clothes are of the fancy designer label variety),nor is he a total stranger. Cal confirms the wounded man's Social Security number to be sure,but knows right off that this is his father,Lloyd.

Cal hasn't seen Lloyd since he was a child,when Lloyd went to jail for the death of his mother(which Cal witnessed and is still haunted by). Despite his misgivings about his father's true nature,Cal decides to help him complete the job he was set out to do that night,deliver a mysterious item via truck. The package is on hold at Customs but Cal still has a few connections left to get it released.

Another person connected to Cal and Lloyd,unknown to them,is Ellis,a former cop and fanatical believer who seeks the delivery as part of his quest to find the Book of Lies,which will reveal the weapon that Cain used to kill his brother Abel and the true purpose of the legendary Mark of Cain. Ellis(who has his own familial demons of the past to avenge) has no qualms about doing anything and eliminating whoever gets in his way to reach his questionable goals.

As more dots are connected,another more modern day legend becomes an essential part of the hunt;seems that the gun used to shoot Lloyd was used in an unsolved murder back in 1932.

The victim then was a man named Mitchell Siegel,whose son Jerry later became one of the creators of Superman. A copy of the first Action Comic issue in which Superman first appeared is an important clue that leads Cal,Lloyd and a young lady named Serena to search for the Book of Lies and find out it's secrets before Ellis and his mysterious benefactor,The Prophet,get their hands on it first.

Author Brad Meltzer has been writing thrillers for several years and writing for such comic book series as Green Arrow,Justice League and the acclaimed Identity Crisis for quite awhile now.

In The Book of Lies, he's finally able to blend both of the genres that he loves together to tell an exciting,pulse pounding tale that is just as entertaining as any big budget,popcorn munching summer blockbuster movie to come out this season.

In between the thrills,there is a strong thematic thread about the power of myths and the purpose of their creation,plus a look at the bonds of family and how emotional wounds from the past can be the hardest to heal. Meltzer did a lot of extensive research into the death of Mitchell Siegel and while the plot line of BOL is only his fictional theory,he does honor the legacy of Jerry Siegel and what he believes to be the true impact and message of both Superman and Cain upon the world.

The Book of Lies will be released on September 2,and should be a Must Read for fiction fans this fall. A soundtrack created especially for the novel will be available for downloading by August 26,via Amazon and iTunes that features a mixture of classical music and Superman/superhero themed songs like "The Greatest American Hero" theme and REM's "Superman".

One of my personal favorites is Five for Fighting's "It's Not Easy" is also on the tracklist and is,in my opinion,a rather poignant note to sum up the true spirit of the book. The song and the novel both touch upon the real stronghold that myths have on our imagination,the ability to reflect the vulnerableness of humanity and to have our heroes be as susceptible to that as we are,yet still find ways to over come:

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