Glenn Cooper

Book Of Lost Souls

"The knowledge of everybody’s date of death is a very unsettling concept..."


A mysterious ancient book filled with names and dates turns up at auction in London and sparks a furious bidding war between an American agent and a telephone bidder. The telephone bidder enlists the help of former FBI agent Will Piper to uncover all of the book's secrets and its origins.

The book is a list of dates of birth and dates of death for the year 1527 and is part of a secret collection of books now held at a US naval base in Nevada. The books end on February the 9th 2027 and there is no reason or documentation for this. Does this mean that the savants who originally wrote the books could only see so far or were stopped in their task? Or does it mean that life on earth will cease on that fateful day.

Piper is charged with uncovering the reason the books end on this date whilst uncovering the origins of the books. His quest leads him to investigate the family history of the family who had guarded the book for generations. During his investigation he has to battle against the government keepers of the vast library who want to keep it secret for their own political gain.

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This is the second book featuring Will Piper and although I had not read the first book, Library of the Dead, which this is obviously a sequel to, I found it an excellent read. Although I would urge readers to read Library of the Dead first if at all possible. The basic proposition of this book is terrifying in it's depiction of a pre-ordained destiny for all of mankind. The knowledge of everybody's date of death is a very unsettling concept yet near to the heart and minds of all. Cooper tackles this issue very competently and his skilful storytelling makes the preposterous seem very believable. Will Piper is a fantastic lead character if a little clichéd. The supporting cast are all well drawn and each adds their own part to the story. Some famous historical people pop up in the novel from time to time and play an integral part in the story as it winds its way to a dramatic conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed the Book of Souls which I found a perfect antidote to all the reality TV my wife watches and I'll be going out to buy The Library of the Dead at the first opportunity.

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