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by Glenn Cooper
Harper, March 2010
372 pages
ISBN: 0061721808

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Now retired from the FBI, Will Piper's life was redefined by what he uncovered at that super-secret installation in Nevada called Area 51. He found an extraordinary library that held information about the birth and death dates of the entire world population from the 1300s until February 9, 2027. As it turns out, one volume of that library was missing, 1527, and is put up for auction by an impoverished member of the gentry from the UK. The auction is won by a wealthy man who has only 10 days to live (according to the library), Henry Spence. Spence hires Will to seek out information in the book about his family so that he can die in peace. When he receives the book, there is a document hidden under the back cover that appears to be a poem by William Shakespeare which contains four clues that will unveil secrets about the entire library.

Will jets to England and stays with the former owner of the book and his daughter, Isabelle. Together they figure out the meaning of the clues and discover that important figures in history were influenced by the book's contents. John Calvin moved toward his theories of predestination as a result, and the prophecies of Nostradamus were impacted as well. The most startling revelation of all, though, was in learning about how the entire library was created by a group whose lives were dedicated to writing the various volumes.

I approached this book with trepidation, as I am not a fan of conspiracy thrillers centering on revelations from ancient documents. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the book because it didn't delve into a lot of arcane theology. In fact, the segments dealing with John Calvin and Nostradamus were quite fascinating. There was a nice balance between the historical segments and Will's present day life. He has recently married, after a lifetime as a womanizer; and his failings make him a very human protagonist. As you might imagine, the book is sought after by others who are up to no good; Will and all involved are in great danger.

I wasn't always successful at suspending my disbelief for some of the events in the book, particularly the sections focusing on William Shakespeare. However, overall, I found BOOK OF SOULS to be an interesting read with a unique premise that I enjoyed.

Reviewed by Maddy Van Hertbruggen, April 2010

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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