The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce
Genre: Myster, Thriller
Publication: July 21, 2020
Age Group: Adult
A spiraling obsession. A missing wife. A terrifying secret. Will he find her before it’s too late?
When Dr Jacob Boyce’s wife goes missing, the police put it down to a simple marital dispute. Jacob, however, fears something darker. Following her trail to Spain, he becomes convinced that Ella’s disappearance is tied to a mysterious painting whose hidden geometric and numerical riddles he’s been obsessively trying to solve for months. Obscure, hallucinogenic clues, and bizarre, larger-than-life characters, guide an increasingly unhinged Jacob through a nightmarish Spanish landscape to an art forger’s studio in Madrid, where he comes face-to-face with a centuries-old horror, and the terrifying, mind-bending, truth about his wife.
In the recent past, I have read fantastic books about art, from kick-butt heroine in the field of art dealing to a found theory book about the diary of an artist and photographer in France. This book is a dark, compelling, and sometimes frantic journey through the mind of a man obsessed with mathematical theory and art. It is in many ways part A Beautiful Mind and part something entirely other. I found this book to be incredibly thought provoking and masterfully written!
In the beginning I thought this was a story about obsession, but it quickly turned into a mystery. The entire narrative is layered with themes like grief, loss, uncertainty, guilt, and a few fine lines, specifically those between passion and obsession and imagination and reality. I found myself lost in the “pages” (I have an eCopy), engrossed in the story to the point of almost obsession myself? This book has a lot of plot to unpack, which I won’t do here because of spoilers. But, I do want to remind readers that this is a dark and engrossing story that may very well suck you in and spit you out once you are an emotional wreck!
I’d also like to point out that the nuance and detail in this book are such that I want to read it a second time to be sure I’ve picked up on everything. Not many books do I recommend a second reading, but this one warrants one in my mind. Jacob’s, and of course our other players’, story is incredibly interesting an prescient. There are no dull spots in this narrative, it keeps you engaged from cover to cover.
Overall, this is a brilliant book and I am so glad that I’ve been able to read and review it! I would recommend this to any fans of intellectual mystery, dark reality, or any number of broader genres related to these. Thank you to Love Books Tours and Tom Gillespie for the opportunity to read and review! I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
Tom Gillespie grew up in a small town just outside Glasgow. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in Bath with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the university as an English lecturer. Tom writes long and short stories. His stories have appeared in many magazines, journals and e-zines. He is co-author of Glass Work Humans-an anthology of stories and poems, published by Valley Press. Visit Tom at tom-gillespie.com