Friday, November 12, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: Human Secrets by Linden Lewis

In issue #45 of Edi's Weekend Wave I mentioned an author who wrote his debut novel at the age of 54. This is not usual and aroused my interest.
Francesca Yarde-Buller from Smith Publicity has been so kind to send me a copy of Human Secrets (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1848764408]by Linden Lewis.

You want to read the official blurb? Then go to issue #45 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Otherwise read my blurb.

Guy Hewson is a young professor of Egyptology. Whenever possible he is on excavation expeditions. During his latest trip he finds a relic which could reveal dramatic news about the origins of the human race. Follow Guy Hewson, his friends and their partners and see how they deal with the consequences.

Follow me into the near future. Follow me to England, county of Norfolk which is the center of life for some ordinary people like Justin and Melanie Bloom, Abigail and Barney Shakespeare and jack of all trades Montgomery Blaine. They all know more or less Guy Hewson, professor of Egyptology. Follow me to a story about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Follow me and enter the world of Human Secrets.
You may think professor Guy Hewson does not belong to the group of ordinary people. Even he likes excavations a lot he is far beyond to be the new Indiana Jones.
Live goes on as usual until Guy finds a relic which turns to be the trigger to change the circumstances to the extraordinary.

It does not take long to connect with the characters who are all depicted well. You get to know them, their personality, their hopes and wishes. You may not always agree with them but you will always understand their motives. It is like to meet someone new,become familiar with her/him and share her/his thoughts. You get a lot of input to think about perception of morality. Good or bad it is up to you to decide if you agree with the characters or not. There are many things going on beside the relic which I can't tell you without spoiler.
Linden Lewis creates a realistic scenery which you can imagine easily. He is a great creator of atmosphere. From romance to action, from slapstick to eerie, from science to speculation he always hits the bulls eye with is kind of retro prose style. So you know now some of the strong points of Human Secrets.
The pace never sinks under a certain level. Violent and bloody parts, inner thoughts, romance, a kind of slapstick, discussions, information are interwoven with the layer by layer revelation of the secrets of the relic, the impact on Guy and is friends and on their lives. You do not want to put down the book. I read it in three sessions until I fell asleep after long days.

The credibility of the story depends on how open minded you are. You will understand when you know the X-Files.

So far I told you a lot of positive things about . I could not detect obvious flaws. There have been less than a handful scenes which I personally found a little bit pathetic.


For all of you who never received a reviewer copy let me tell you that you always get one or more additional sheets containing press information. Mostly you get information about the author,a synopsis, review statements and in a few sentences what the reader can expect from the book. For me this is like a promise. I use it beside other things to judge about a book. Today I will share with you the Human Secrets "promise":
"An engaging adventure story that challenge our perception of morality, Human Secrets has broad appeal that reaches beyond the confine of regular science fiction. A pacy thriller, with romance and a touch of humour to boot, this will appeal to all readers of fiction."
In this case I must admit Human Secrets is indeed everything described before. That happens no that often.
Human Secrets is such a convincing, lively, well executed debut novel about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

I recommend to everyone who is interested in to discover how people like you and me (yes I think I'm an ordinary person) cope with extraordinary circumstances without turning into super heroes.

2 comments:

Milo James Fowler said...

Sounds like a real character-driven plot; those are my favorites.

ediFanoB said...

@Milo,

it is indeed a character-driven plot. And as I said in my review you meet ordinary characters, no super heroes which made it more interesting.

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