Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child

     Jeremy Logan, famed enigmalogist, finds himself invited back to the Symposikon, a respected think tank where he once conducted his studies. A stolid scientist went mad and killed himself in a spectacularly bizarre fashion, and along with a host of other odd occurrences, the director has decided to bring in Logan to figure out what’s going on. However, in his investigations, Logan finds a sealed-off wing of the mansion filled with odd lab equipment. Suspecting a connection to the strangeness, he starts to investigate-but finds a dark secret that was meant to remain buried.

     Lincoln Child brings another fantastic and creepy mystery. The ending is less ambiguous than the previous Logan mysteries. Nothing unexplainable here, just science put to evil use. It’s a break with formula that is jarring at first, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of what’s going on. Child sets up a creepy atmosphere easily-if he ever wanted to delve into straight horror, he would do well in that genre. However, we have a combo horror-mystery-science fiction tale that doesn’t fail to entertain.

     I felt like, in some ways, it wasn’t quite as good as the previous Logan mysteries. The supporting cast didn’t feel as well-drawn as in the previous books. I find I know very little about the other characters Logan interacted with. I did, however, enjoy a glimpse into Logan’s past, his struggle to establish himself as a serious scientist rather than a “ghost chaser” (although I enjoyed the little joke about the Loch Ness Monster at the beginning), as well as a little more about the tragedy in his past. (Although, writers everywhere, can we find a tragedy for our heroes that doesn’t involve a dead wife? I think this is the third Child character that has a dead wife.)

     Overall, this was the weakest of the Logan books, but that’s like saying you prefer Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night over the Café. (But if you say any of those are better than “TARDIS Exploding”, then you deserve whatever you get.) I’m glad I bought it (granted, I had an Amazon gift card) and it will have a prominent place on my bookshelf.

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