Dawson, Adrian - 'Codex'
Lara Bernstein, the estranged daughter of American computer billionaire Jack Bernstein, is killed in a plane explosion on her return trip to the USA from Europe in an apparent terrorist act. Bernstein is very disturbed by the news and in his grief he is vulnerable to messages from anyone who may have known his daughter whilst she was separated from him. He learns that she was involved with a religious cult and may have had a dark secret.
Having been summoned to London via a strangely coded message to a meeting in a church with a man referring to himself only as "Simon", Jack is made aware that his daughter had been leaving a lot more than her new life behind. She had indeed been leaving a secret...one that had been building for centuries and one which a global group of corporations will stop at nothing to protect. It soon becomes apparent from messages from Simon and others that Lara's life and death was no accident and there had been meticulous planning involved in order to infiltrate Jack's company and use his Microsoft-like power to take over a true artificial intelligence-computer system capable of cracking the most complex codal systems known to man. Soon persons close to Jack are been killed in an attempt to halt his quest to identify the persons behind the global game of chess. It soon becomes apparent that the misguided leaders of this cult are behind the death of his wife so many years ago as well as his daughter more recently.
I found the science and the Da Vinci Code similarities, in this exciting and very tightly plotted novel difficult to get to grips with. Because of the computer science involved and the almost sci-fi elements the story did not come alive to me, until I had read about 150 pages. Once I had reached that point the book did become one that I found very difficult to put down and the story continued in that terribly exciting vein until the last page. The author has included a sample of his new second novel called SEQUENCE at the end of this current one and I understand it will be published in the Spring. It sounds very exciting also, and I will look out for it.
Terry Halligan, England