Ballantine, Oct 14 2008, $26.00
In Washington DC once a child chess prodigy who quit playing years ago, Alexandra Solarin lives a quiet lifestyle as a sous chef. However, her missing mom, Catherine Velis (star of THE EIGHT, a Brownian like thriller published before the Da Vinci Code) has left her some esoteric clues that will find her.
Unable to not make an attempt to rescue her mother, Alex enters the Game" in which she is to seek the mythical Montglane Service chess set that allegedly contains the code for immortality. The Game is life and death across centuries and counties as time and boundaries do not exist in this “realm”; whereas danger is behind each clue as death is the norm.
This direct sequel to the classic late 1980s thriller THE EIGHT is as good as the original and can stand alone. The amazement re Katherine Neville’s talent is how she keeps an incredibly fast-paced story line which includes tons of deep historical references and persona. Fans of the original saga will obviously welcome the daughter’s gambit, but newcomers will agree THE FIRE is one of the best puzzler thrillers o f the year.