Cabal of the Westford Knight
Review: When lawyer Cameron Thorne stumbled into a troublemaking treasure hunter at his local library, he had no idea what the man could possibly be after, or the danger he was getting himself into. Like most readers of this novel, Thorne thought that there was nothing remarkable about his hometown of Westford, Massachusetts. He had barely heard the local legends surrounding the Westford Knight, the Newport Tower, and their mysterious past. A Templar Knight discovering America a hundred years before Columbus? A secret buried in America's past, denied by historians and religious leaders alike? Unbelievable! Yet Thorne soon realizes there is more to these legends than meets the eye, and he is drawn into a complex web of mystery, danger and conspiracy, spiraling from local legend into historical fact and, finally, religious reality.
David S. Brody's Cabal of the Westford Knight is an excellent historical conspiracy thriller. It builds on its most famous predecessor, The Da Vinci Code, and takes it once step farther — and across the Atlantic. Like Da Vinci, Cabal of the Westford Knight uses existing people, places, and historical events, skillfully interweaving fact and fiction. Although Brody works hard to build the case for his premises, some mainstream history lovers will have to suspend their disbelief in the interests of a good story — but it's worth it.
Brody's strength lies in his careful development of the facts he presents, slowly building his case and advancing his story. His character development likewise builds slowly, but works consistently and convincingly, and the book's suspense draws readers in and keeps them hooked. History lessons are here mixed with thrilling chase scenes, double-crossings, and murder.
Brody takes care to make his case as realistic as possible, spending time on historical explanations, including sources and photographs. As the book goes on, however, the puzzle becomes more and more complicated and difficult to follow, and Brody continues to introduce new twists but spends less time carefully convincing readers of facts. This significantly weakens the book's conclusion, which can feel overly long and convoluted. In the end, however, Cabal of the Westford Knight is a great story, fun to read, and smart, if slightly overambitious. Readers will love considering Brody's facts and drawing their own conclusions about where fiction stops and reality begins.
Special thanks to Rebecca Henderson for contributing her review of Cabal of the Westford Knight.
Acknowledgment: Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity provided a copy of Cabal of the Westford Knight for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Rebecca Henderson — All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission
Location(s) referenced in Cabal of the Westford Knight: Boston, Massachusetts
— ♦ —
Cabal of the Westford Knight by David S. Brody
Publisher: Martin & Lawrence Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $14.95