This book is put in the hands of Thomas Knight, who was apparently a character in A.J. Hartley's The Mask of Atreus as well, who has a wife who moved to Japan a long time ago and they have been distant ever since. Have you read Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare? For me, if I didn't read it in school and it isn't assigned, I probably never will read it. I can't really give Shakespeare plays grades, they're too dated for me and the English Language sometimes makes the characters sound like buffoons if you ask me. Maybe it's just because they're all dialogue so the characters have to point out everything. But anyway, I learned in this book (as well as a ton of other stuff about the history of literature that I forgot a few paragraphs later) that Love's Labour's Lost ends on a cliffhanger, with this romance not really completely told and perhaps an unknown death of some sort. I didn't really care to remember many details. But anyway, after one day a woman looks Thomas in the eye through his window at home in California and is killed seconds later, he is led to a former student of his, Daniel Escolme, who says he had the unpublished sequel to this play, Love's Labour's Won. Imagine if a book like The Hunger Games or Divergent never had two sequels and you may get the suspense of this situation. It was said that during this famous fire, a lot of works, some say include Love's Labour's Won, were destroyed, but Escolme said he had the manuscript with him and it was stolen. Not just that, but the woman who was killed outside Thomas' doorstep was Danielle Bertrand, a famous, or perhaps infamous former author. Because of Thomas' passion for history - he's a Shakespeare teacher at high school - it's up to him to research Danielle's history and family to try to find the discovery of the century.
And what a mystery it is. I read several months ago this five-hundred paged book called Scorpion's Dance, and I loved the first forty pages but then went into more character development and unnecessary romance, dinner after dinner, than focusing on the mystery. I gave it two stars and I have to say that this four-hundred paged book is more committed to its premise, with some exciting but sometimes weird chase scenes there and there, but I can't give it a higher grade or even two stars. This is the sort of novel that depends on it's ending, because the book works so hard at describing every person Thomas talks to, whether it's Julia McBride or some waitress or lady with a lap dog on the bus. Yep, this is one of those books. It also describes so much about the history of Shakespeare that it gets easily tedious, and the chapters are short which helped me not feel it's running time but it seemed to depend on it's ninety cliffhangers that didn't always or even usually stay true to their roots by the next chapter, (breath) but the chase scenes gave me a soft spot for the book and I was thinking about two and a half stars, if the book turned out how I hoped it would. I planned to say that for books that describe every detail and are mind wanderers, this one is a lot of fun. On the other hand, if it ended just horribly, I would've given this a downright zero. I'll let you do the math about all this judging from my grade above. The mystery intrigued me but was too complicated for me to really follow, so that intrigue part is the best thing I can say about this book. Nothing else really stuck to me, except for a few times where I looked back on some lines from Romeo and Juliet and I questioned to myself whether Shakespeare was actually even that good.
Let me tell you the difference between a Shakespeare play and this story: the plays are short enough for us to feel the tragedy and come away satisfied. At almost four hundred pages though, being such an F.U. like this one and saying "How Shakespearean" to redeem the book is like replacing your steak dinner with a can of slimy chub mackerel for the Omega 3. This book tries to be a thriller and a celebration of history - a little more than Warren Murphy's drag Scorpion's Dance - but is more like a Shakespearean spoof.