cover image Book of Secrets

Book of Secrets

Chris Roberson. Angry Robot, $7.99 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-06-199423-4

Author Roberson delves into territory previously explored by Kim Newman and Philip Jose Farmer in this tale of legacy heroism and secret history. Reporter and former cat-burglar Spencer Finch is working on what he hopes will be a major exposé revealing the perfidy of wealthy businessman J. Nathan Pierce, when he learns that his lead, struggling P.I. David Stiles, has been murdered. The death of Richmond Taylor, Finch's emotionally distant grandfather, seems unrelated; but as Finch slowly discovers, his grandfather harbored a fascination with a lineage of heroes, using variants of the name Black Hand. Both the Black Hand lineage and a mysterious book, stolen from Pierce, are rooted in events dating back to the days following the Biblical Creation. These events pit the reporter against two world-spanning conspiracies. Though written competently, Roberson's latest feels underdeveloped and unfinished, more like a prelude to the real story.