Plot Summary: [from goodreads.com] In “The Best of Evil, “Aramis Black uncovered family secrets and historical conspiracies, hoping that his own dark past had come to certain resolution. But now, in the dark of night, he finds his brother unconscious and tied to a statue in Nashville’s Music Row …with the initials AX carved into his back. A shadow from his former life has reappeared, casting threats of violence and retribution. And soon the attacker is swinging his blade of self-righteous judgment directly at Aramis, calling upon him to “face his sins.” Can Aramis finally break free from the guilt of his old ways… or will he succumb to the vengeance of an arrogant sociopath?*
My Book Review: If you’ve read my book review of the first in the Aramis Black mysteries, you’ll know I highly enjoyed The Best of Evil. Now Aramis’ story continues, starting with an assault on his older brother.
The narrative stays consistently the same in this second installment with Aramis telling the story in first person, often ruminating over his pain and anguish– first at one end of the spectrum of emotions and then swinging the next moment to the other end. One of the hallmarks of this series seems to be the Blacks’ family history wrapped up in various conspiracy theories of American history. This time around, it’s the Pilgrim father William Brewster and his involvement in Freemasonry. A mysterious ring wanted by an anonymous person who calls his himself “AX.” What does this have to do with Aramis’ mother, Diane Lewis Black, who was killed when Aramis was yet a little boy? …Or was she?
I have little knowledge about William Brewster and the Freemasons. Is it true or is it hype? All I know is that even though I don’t accept Freemason teachings, I’m not freaked out about American founding fathers being involved, mainly because I don’t believe they believed they were doing anything anti-biblical in the early days of it. But again, this is just my own speculation and I don’t know enough about it.
I enjoyed the read, but wished that the story had given more information about the theory itself, and didn’t continually dwell on the same old ruminations that go through Aramis’ mind as he works his way through the mystery concerning his family. He seems to go round and round in circles a lot because he doesn’t know exactly what he wants. But overall the book was suspenseful and intriguing. I never saw the end coming!
I can very well imagine Aramis in my mind. I’m convinced that one of the librarians at my local library is Aramis under a different name (has black hair, always wears black, and has tattoos down both arms).
I wish there were more in this series, but sadly it doesn’t seem as though there are any on the horizon. I know I like this author enough to want to try several others by him, and am looking forward to it, too. So if you like a good story loaded with mysterious historical secrets, family intrigue, and riddles, I’d say A Shred of Truth would definitely be a good fit for you!
*For whoever wrote this book summary: For the record, I think this word really ought to be changed to ‘psychopath’. Do your research. 😉
?Did any one else take the hint at the end of the book and figure out what the last letter of each chapter spells out? Very creative!