Jeri's Reviews > A Conspiracy of Paper

A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss
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's review
Feb 27, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended to Jeri by: book club
Recommended for: mystery/thriller fans

As Benjamin Weaver investigates the suspicious death of a local gentleman, he discoveries that the mystery has far too many ties to his own past. Weaver struggles to learn the intricacies of the "stock-jobber" system while confronted with a possibly-murdered father of his own, an estranged family, an interfering crime-boss and a beautiful young widow.

The protagonist, Ben Weaver, is just my kind of hero. He's tough and masculine without being a brute and manages to show some sensitivity and brains without turning into a wimp or a loser (I'm talking to you Robert Langdon). I really enjoyed delving into his thought-process as he explores the "modern" notion of scientific reasoning. I also liked that he is straight-forward and blunt in his dealings with others. This saves a lot of tedious speculation, inner dialog and boredom for the reader. Instead of formulating a theory and then traipsing around spying and gathering mis-information, he just asks what he wants to know. I love it!

The supporting characters are engaging, well-written and have enough depth to add suspense and drama to the story. The author provides great descriptions of the characters as well as a lot of humor at their expense. My favorite was the drinking, womanizing, financially challenged best friend, Elias Gordon.

I enjoyed learning about 17th-century finance, stock-jobbers and the lawless streets of London. The author does a great job of blending true history and complete fiction. The plot moves along at a good pace with sufficient twists and turns to be exciting. The author manages to present a considerable amount of information and a wide cast of characters without dragging along, boring the reader or becoming confusingly complex. I admit that I didn't predict the ending at all, yet it was quite satisfying.

This is one of the best books I've read in quite some time and certainly way more interesting than you think a "historical finance thriller" could be. For a first novel this was remarkably well-written and engaging and the one-chapter sneak peek into his next book leads me to believe his success wasn't a one-time fluke. I look forward to more from David Liss.
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Reading Progress

February 27, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
April 10, 2008 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Pat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pat C. Cute baby!

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