Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Eighth Day

The Eighth Day by John Case (pseudonym for Jim & Carolyn Hougan) was originally published in 2002. My hardcover copy has 378 pages. Although I found this very enjoyable, it wasn't quite as good and started out a little slower than their previous novels. While I enjoyed the character of Danny Cray, having Jude Belzer actually hire him to begin with was really implausible and stretched the bounds of believability. Danny's actions also didn't seem entirely realistic, especially for a character who is supposed to be only 26 and not wealthy. At the very end of The Eighth Day, and I'm wording this carefully, I would have liked to find the answers to the unanswered questions: how did Danny get home, and was he ever reimbursed by anyone. The rest of the conclusion was nice. I do highly recommend it, though. Rating: 4

Synopsis from the Publisher:
For Danny Cray, a struggling artist and part-time private investigator, the offer is too good to be true. A wealthy, enigmatic lawyer, Jude Belzer, would like to retain Danny for a little damage control. His client, an elusive billionaire, is the target of a vicious campaign by the Italian press that threatens to destroy his reputation. Belzer wants Danny to find out who is responsible - and he will pay handsomely.

Danny's only lead is the meager estate of a recently deceased professor of religious studies, a man so deeply terrified that he buried himself alive in the basement of an isolated farmhouse. Belzer swears that if Danny can get the late professor's files, the conspiracy against his own reclusive client will unravel. It's the perfect assignment, in a way, and Danny can sure use the money. But the more he probes, the more apparent it becomes that nothing is what it seems. There is something he isn't being told. Something that's not quite right. Something dark, fast, and sinister that's coming at him from behind.

From the powerful world of Washington D.C., to the ancient grandeur of Rome, from the mysteries of Istanbul to the high-stakes drama of Silicon Valley, The Eighth Day is a briskly paced, globe-trotting thriller of electrifying suspense. Packed with unexpected reversals and astonishing twists of plot, this is John Case's most gripping novel to date.

"It was the mailman who reported it, calling 911 half an hour before Delaney's shift was supposed to end." opening sentence

"Despite their entirely different career tracks and backgrounds, they were so attuned that half the time they could read each other's mind. Same brain, they'd say when one spoke aloud the thoughts of the other." pg. 13

"There was something in Belzer's voice, a tone more than an accent, that made Danny think the lawyer already knew what he looked like. And maybe a lot more." pg. 19

"Of course he was crazy, but... what I'm getting at is this: What made him do it? Even crazy people have reasons for what they do. They're just crazy reasons." pg. 25

"She was a South Dakota girl, right out of Pierre - which, as she liked to remind people, was not pronounced in the French way but in the clipped, no-nonsense accent of the Dakotas: It's 'Peer,' she'd insist, just 'Peer.' " pg. 39

"And that raised a question, a very interesting question, a question so fundamental that he didn't even want to think about it.
What if I'm on the wrong side?" pg. 70

"Rome or no Rome, the business with Belzer was making him nervous. There was too much bad news - too much violence on the periphery of it all. And as much as he was enjoying it, the assignment itself was entirely too swank, too good to be true." pg. 78

"They've made a conscious decision to venerate Satan because the Black Writing tells them that on the eighth day God grew weary of the world and gave it to the devil. To them, the devil is not evil; he's the Tawus, sort of the chief angel." pg. 89

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