I picked up this book at a motorway service station somewhere in between Ayr and Arbroath, and to be honest I wish now that I hadn’t.  It’s not very good.  The plot centres round an arcane sect of monks who write down the birth and death dates of people… even before they’re born or have died.  It’s not clear whether this “library of the dead” includes all human beings, or a select few million.  Anyway the sect died out in Elizabethan times, although its recorded dates go on until 2026.  The library is discovered during the WW2 on the Isle of Wight, but the Brits decide it’s too hot to handle and transport it to the yanks, who house it at Roswell under strict security.  Then one of the bright geeky workers at Roswell (not clear what they are all working at, but never mind) has the bright idea of pretending to be a serial killer, as he knows when people are going to expire.  He helps to save the hide of an insurance company with the same data, and starts to live the high life.  Meanwhile the gruff, flawed hero of the story is an ex serial killer profiler, who just happens to have been a college chum of the geeky pretend killer, and eventually tracks him down through a screenplay he had written using the surnames of the people he had “killed”.
   It’s all very silly and if the truth be told I never quite managed to finish it.  It was clear what the “mystery” was as soon as the monkish sect was introduced. The characters are stereotyped and superficially drawn.  The attempt to shroud things in mystery doesn’t work very well.  And the way in which the geeky pretend killer smuggles data out of Roswell verges on the absurd.  I don’t recommend this book at all.
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