Plot Summary: Aramis Black is a young man trying to start life over. Starting up a coffee shop business and turning his back on a previous history of drug addiction, he is trying to live a life his mom would have been proud of. But he is still dealing with ghosts from his past, especially when a lost gift his mother had given him the day she was killed mysteriously reappears. Then a man is gunned down in Aramis’ shop, uttering words that sound familiar before he dies. What do these things have to do with his mother’s murder, and with a mystery that has puzzled scholars for 200 years?
My Book Review: I’m typically not a mystery reader but if I do pick one up, it will be because the plot description really grabbed me for its originality. That, and throw in a generational secret and you’ve got me hooked! I remember hearing this book mentioned on a radio program years back, and the title of the book had my curiosity piqued.
This mystery felt unlike many others out there. I think it was because of the deep character development and the author’s attention to detail. Because of this, the mystery part of the plot moves rather slowly, but I didn’t feel this was a bad thing. I couldn’t wait to find out more about the conspiracy surrounding the death of a great historical figure. I had never heard of this theory before and was completely intrigued! (You can find out more by watching an episode from Brad Meltzer’s Decoded here, although beware it will partially spoil the mystery unless you wait to watch it after the book…) SPOILER: I have to throw in a little scratch-o’-head here, though. Aramis and Johnny Ray couldn’t possibly be descended from Meriwether Lewis. It’s a well-known fact that he was never married and had no children. Although it is never verified in the book they are direct descendents, we are led to assume that this is very possible. END OF SPOILER.
At times, Wilson seems to be throwing too many ingredients in his stew for it’s own good, which made it feel a little unrealistic. Drug dealers, buried treasure, murders, romance (which girl?), Aramis’ relationship with his father, his brother, his uncle, and a reality show to boot. Readers may even be able to figure out part of the mystery (I did). But at the end of the day, I have to say that I still thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, couldn’t wait to read more, and am ecstatic there’s a sequel (“A Shred of Truth”) in the Aramis Black Mystery Series. I am also highly interested in reading more books by Eric Wilson. In short, I am a fan of this author’s originality and creativity!