(Now that winter is here in Chicago, I am doing a lot more reading and movie-watching, and a lot less bicycling and other exercise; among other things, it means a lot more genre projects I've taken on purely for pleasure, and other projects I don't feel like sitting down and writing a full review concerning. Hence this series of mini-reviews, none of which are longer than a couple of hundred words. To see the full combined list of all mini-reviews [books and movies], click here.)
The Black Sun (novel; 2007)
By James Twining
HarperCollins / ISBN: 978-0-06-076214-8
Okay, I admit it! I'm a sucker for Hidden Secret Nazi Gold Action Adventure stories! What can I tell ya, man -- I like millions of other Americans can't get enough of them crazy fascist secret-society obsessives, and all their supposed billions of hidden money and art and treasure all over the world at the end of World War II, lots of which is supposedly still hidden and un-recovered. And thus do we get to British author James Twining's latest adventure, The Black Sun, part of the so-called "Tom Kirk" series, concerning a former brilliant art thief and his old partner who are both now working on the other side of the law as private investigators.
Like many throwaway genre novels these days, Twining takes on several fascinating real-life stories and legends from the period, to craft a rather silly potboiler in the style of The Da Vinci Code (of freaking course), full of rather on-the-nose clues scattered throughout famous real locations all across Europe, causing a team of good-looking and rich nerds to traipse all across the Continent, one step ahead of the law and while even having supermodel Russian mobsters fall in love with them along the way. Skoal! The Black Sun is a genre novel through and through, enough to make a non-fan of the genre howl with unintentional laughter while skimming it; for fans of the genre, though, it contains enough secret Gestapo cult societies and buried truckloads of Jewish gold to satisfy even the most hardcore Indiana Jones fan. Good for the airport or beach; take caution in other contexts.
Out of 10: 6.8, or 9.0 for fans of Hidden Secret Nazi Gold Action Adventure stories