Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 5 stars (translation = must read)
Confession: this novel was written by my dearest friend and critique partner. Further confession: I don't know how to lie if something's crappy writing. And this just isn't it. Lastly: go buy the book. I'm hard to please, and I loved it. On to the review....
Lauren's husband has died the year before under a dark cloud of unusual circumstances, and a life-or-death chain of events is set off when she receives a letter from MENSA...a puzzle, which contains something "more" than just a standard MENSA puzzle. This is a wonderful story full of ciphers, cat-and-mouse, with just the right dose of romance that had my eyes opening wide in amazement until the end. Ms. Wallace knows how to show us a sympathetic character -- we love her beginning to end, knowing that Lauren's heartstrings are being pulled by some unidentified person who may or may not have something to do with the death of a loved one. There is lots of lovey dovey romance, but it's beautifully intertwined within a thrilling story of a woman following a genius level trail of breadcrumbs.
While this story has some basic similarities to cipher stories like Dan Brown's DaVinci Code (and I think fans of that book would love this story), it is meatier. It raises philosophical questions that cannot be answered. But it's great brain candy, too. Amazing book.