Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Mozart Conspiracy

The Mozart Conspiracy is a thriller in the vein of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. Mozart was written by British author Scott Mariani whose books are popular in the UK, but new to the US market. The Mozart Conspiracy is the latest in Mariani's Ben Hope series.

Ben Hope is an ex-SAS member who is trying to get on with his life. He hires himself out as a "crisis response consultant." Meaning he helps people escape from situations they would rather they or their family members not be in. Ben is heading back to his house on the west coast of Ireland when he receives a call from Leigh Llewellyn the sister of a friend of his. Oliver Llewellyn, an accomplished pianist, has just died in a drowning accident. At the time of his death Oliver was trying to unravel the meaning of a letter Mozart wrote shortly before he died. The letter purportedly shows that Mozart was killed at the hands of a secret society called the "Order of RA," a dissident band of the Freemasons. Oliver has a video he made while he was preforming in a great house in Vienna. The video shows the murder of a man.

Ben meets up with Leigh and she mentions that Oliver was looking into the letter and that he sent her something shortly before his death. The DVD is a copy of the video Oliver shot. Things start to move at this point. Leigh is shot at and someone tries to kidnap her in the hope of discovering what she knows about the letter and the DVD. Ben and Leigh try to track down Professor Arno who owns the original copy of Mozart's last letter. While Arno is explaining the background of the Masons and their relationship to Mozart he is shot. Before he dies, Arno tells them that the Order of Ra is still in existence.

While running for their lives Ben and Leigh come in contact with a detective named Markus Kinski. Kinski had done the original investigative work into Oliver's death. Kinski is interested in reopening the investigation but when he tries his young daughter is threatened and ultimately kidnapped. Oliver and Ben suffer a series of attacks before they are able to piece enough information together to get the real story of Oliver's death, the missing letter and the Order of Ra.

This books moves from beginning to end. Filled with car chases, beautiful women, double crosses, ex-special forces men and psychotics there is something for everyone. The book is similar to Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. Ben Hope is the British version of Reacher. The plot moves all over Europe and has enough twists to keep a reader interested. Move over Jack, Ben has arrived.

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