First, y’all should know that I hold a special place in my heart for lawyer-authors (or author-lawyers, as they might prefer to be called). So when Heather Terrell’s book arrived on my doorstep I was excited to get started. A quick glance at the inside back cover revealed a stylish, young attorney who quite apparently writes books–in other words, everything I’d like to be.
But, I’ve been known to be disappointed by books. High hopes dashed and, when I cracked open The Map Thief, my heart sank. This was not what I expected. For some reason–I think because Tess Gerritsen provided a blurb for Terrell’s first book–I’d decided the book would read like The Sinner or even The Bone Garden.
Not the case. Though the book is a thriller.
After two pages, I overcame my preconceived notions and discovered something better than I’d anticipated. If you can wrap your head around this, The Map Thief is a thriller told in a fable-like manner comparable to the works of Paulo Coelho, which in my opinion is a beautiful style and a ginormous compliment to Heather Terrell.
The narrative shifts between Beijing in 1421, Lisbon in 1496, and present day New York City. So, while the chapters set in the present day have more zing, Terrell writes the more historical sections in prose that marks the story as something of a hidden legend.
Ok, so unique writing style? Check. But, the book has another component I love: a main character with a really cool job.
I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for that brand of MC and Mara Coyne is no exception. She’s an attorney who starts her own firm to help restore stolen artwork to its rightful owner, often requiring her to work on the fringe of the law.
Mara’s story is satisfying, but the real magic comes as Terrell details the career of Ma Zhi, the gifted cartographer.
You’ll love this book if you enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, The Thomas Crown Affair, or just like learning cool things while reading and thinking about history in a new way. And, though Terrell openly admits to tampering with history, the question of whether the Chinese could have been the first to discover the New World remains intriguing.
Finally, we still have half the summer left and with easy-to-digest chapters and a pace that will speed your metabolism, The Map Thief will serve as a tasty treat for a day at the beach.
For a description of The Map Thief visit Heather Terrell’s website.
Or to Buy it click here: The Map Thief: A Novel
Want to read another book review? Check out my thoughts on the House of Night series.
** Comments today count as double entries to win your copy of The Map Thief! Since Heather Terrell takes us globe-trotting across time and space, tell me about the coolest place you’ve been OR if you could go back to any time in history what would it be??
Status: Shipping boxes today. The Breaking Dawn party was really cute. I’ll talk about it tomorrow. Have lots of work coming up this week.