The Book of Air and Shadows.
by Michael Gruber
What a marvelous book.
Synopsis: There are two parts to this story. One, Jake Mishkin, of a intellectual property lawyer who happens to be a misogynistic douche bag. The other of a young man, Albert Crosetti, who works at a book store, wants to be a film director and is an all-out romantic. When said bookstore burns down, Crosetti and his romantic interest Caroline Rolly discover letter that may lead to the undiscovered, never-published (obviously) William Shakespeare play. When they go to a Shakespearean scholar and sell it to him for a small price, he is soon found tortured to death. But not before it is brought to Mishkin for protection. Crosetti and Mishkin pair up on a race to discover the greatest literary find of all time, all the while trying to survive against Russian gangers, shootouts, and even their own families.
Review: The Book of Air and Shadows has secret twists and turns, romance, adventure, murder and a narrator that admits he's not always telling the truth, and sometimes stop short of finishing thoughts. I enjoyed the anticipation of knowing whether or not they would find the manuscript and if it would end of being a forgery or real. Gruber adds in the cyphered letters in between chapters so that the reader knows what the characters are talking about.
The characters are flawed, but purposefully so. I couldn't stand Mishkin as a person but he was needed in the novel as the rich, easily persuaded (by women...) guy who would be able to finance all of the adventures. Crosetti is a romantic who lives his life as if it were a movie. He hopes for the best but seems to end up always getting the short of the stick...until he falls for Rolly. Rolly - well - you don't really know who she is. She's a strong-willed woman who doesn't take shit from anyone. She knows all about book-binding and uses that knowledge to her advantage.
I thoroughly enjoyed the ending. I don't want to give spoilers so I won't go further but it was a lovely finish.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 goats.
Buy The Book of Air and Shadows here.
Song of the Blog: Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles