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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If you read one book this year....

This story was absolutely AMAZING! Also fascinating, spell-binding and heart-poundingly gripping.  It's also just past the realm of belief... or is it?

Don't let the introductory nature of the first chapter fool you; once I got into the story it sped, but never at the expense of the characters or dialogue. The action was often intense, the characters were very alive and real and the plot was marvelously crafted. This is a book that will always grip the reader's attention and keep them focused. Outstanding!

* * * * * *
Jon Campelli was estranged from his father for 20 years and has never understood why. So when he finds out that his father has died he's torn.  No recent memories of his father, everything he knows about Luca dates back to the time that he was a child. 
Coming back to Libri di Luca was certainly not easy and then to find that he is the sole inheritor of the bookstore throws him for another loop.

His father's long-term employee Iversen is happy that Jon is back at Libri di Luca... as far ash Iversen's concerned Jon belongs there. But inheriting the second-hand bookstore is the least of it. 
Being a Campelli comes with responsibility; to the bookstore of course, but also to the friends of Libri di Luca. And now Jon is told a secret that is beyond his comprehension. 
This is just the beginning and from here the tension and pace pick up.  Obviously the secret isn't that secret and someone seems determined to destroy not only the bookstore, but Jon and the people that are connected with Libri di Luca.
This story is compelling on a number of levels; intrigue, mystery, romance, mayhem, murder and an ending that is as explosive as it is satisfying.

* * * * * *

This is Mr. Birkegaard's first novel; needless to say I'll be on the lookout for more of his work. Originally published (and of course written) in Danish, I have to give kudos to the translator, Tiina Nunnally; she did a fantastic job and the story reads as though it was written in English; smooth and flawless.
It's an outstanding story in which I found myself avidly involved and the postulations are not that far-fetched. By that I mean when I read a book ~ especially one that's got my undivided attention ~ it very much plays like a movie. But that's all I'll say.

Imagine that some people have the power to affect your thoughts and feelings when you read, or they read a book to you. They can seduce you with amazing stories, conjure up vividly imagined worlds, but also manipulate you into thinking exactly what they want you to. When Luca Campelli dies a sudden and violent death, his son Jon inherits his second-hand bookshop, Libri di Luca, in Copenhagen. Jon has not seen his father for twenty years since the mysterious death of his mother. When Luca's death is followed by an arson attempt on the shop, Jon is forced to explore his family's past. Unbeknown to Jon, the bookshop has for years been hiding a remarkable secret. It is the meeting place of a society of booklovers and readers, who have maintained a tradition of immense power passed down from the days of the great library of ancient Alexandria. Now someone is trying to destroy them, and Jon finds himself in a fight for his life and those of his new friends.

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