I have a confession to make. Well, two actually.
First, I actually enjoyed Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code.” Sorry. I liked the characters, the plotting and, yes, even the speculation. I even enjoyed “Angels & Demons.” So when I saw “The Lucifer Code” by Charles Brokaw (Forge, 2010) with its jacket touting that “Brokaw can play this game a lot better than most of [Brown’s] imitators,” I bought it. Hey, it was only a buck.
Second confession: I bought it at a dollar store. I know, that should have told me something. But a brand new $25.99 hardcover for a dollar? I’m just weak. As weak as this book.
Brokaw’s previous book, “The Atlantis Code,” (I know. Original,huh?) got pretty good reviews, judging from the back of the dust jacket. Publishers Weekly called it a “rollicking adventure,” and Deepak Chopra said . . . . well, that should have told me something too. The main character of both books, Dr. Thomas Lourds, must have liked his Atlantis adventure as well because he and his supporting cast mention it at least once a chapter.
I’m going to save anyone interested in this book a lot of trouble right now. Spoiler alert: Ready? Lucifer is the vice president of the United States! Believe me, I didn’t spoil much. This book could have been titled “The Lucifer Morris Code” because Brokaw telegraphs the bad guy nearly from his first appearance.
OK, let’s make it three confessions. I actually read the whole book. There were a few decent action sequences, a couple of humorous situations and some interesting information passed along. But I really kept going because I was hoping for a decent payoff when Lourds finally confronted Lucifer. A big finale. Wham! Bam!
I’m going to donate this book to the local library’s ongoing book sale. Who knows? Somebody out there may like it. But I’ll be wearing sunglasses and a hat when I drop it off.