Thursday, August 7, 2014
The Secrets of Life and Death is a work of paranormal, supernatural, and historical fiction. The book jumps back and forth between Sixteenth century Poland and Hungary and present day England.
In the Sixteenth century, John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley are enlisted to save the life of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Saving the countess – and, hence, their own lives – requires Dee and Kelley to call upon dark magics.
In the present day, the police are trying to solve the disappearance and deaths of missing teenagers. As the dead teenagers are found with sigils drawn upon them, the police enlist the assistance of Felix Guichard, Professor of Social Anthropology who specializes in, inter alia, magic. He recognizes the sigils as Dee’s Enochian alphabet. While trying to solve the mystery of the sigils, Felix meets Jackdaw Hammond.
Like one of the missing teenagers, Sadie Williams, Jack is dead. These “borrowed timers” are kept alive by magic that is tied to the sigils. Felix and Jack work together when the Sixteenth and present centuries collide.
The Secrets Of Life and Death is an easy, enjoyable read. I like historical fiction, but I prefer when such a book is solidly grounded in history. I cannot say for certain, but my sense is that this book is a great deal more fiction than historically accurate – and, in that I am disappointed. However, as an action/thriller with some paranormal and a touch of history, it is a quick and satisfactory read.