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The Thousand, split into competing, deadly factions, follows the secret mathematics of Pythagoras. This divine math can fell planes and create divine music. It may have even caused 9/11. Set in a Vegas casino setting and then barreling across the United States like a desperate action film, Guilfoile's (Cast of Shadows) tale seems intent on getting some of The Da Vinci Code crowd. Our heroine has a brain implant that turns her into a walking, gambling, crime-solving supercomputer. The book itself struggles between the clumsy gait of a Hollywood thriller and attempts at a more thoughtful, nuanced approach. George Pelecanos can pull it off, probably because he evokes such a strong sense of place and moral consequence. Guilfoile offers a few good lines-"They were young kids, mostly, who still saw adversity as adventure or an excuse to party, or both"-but not enough. Verdict The abundance of gunshots, explosions, and short chapters may engage voracious mystery and thriller readers, but fans of Umberto Eco, Orhan Pamuk, or even Donna Tartt probably won't make it through.-Travis Fristoe, Alachua Cty. Lib. Dist., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Guilfoile (Cast of Shadows) ventures into Dan Brown territory in his mediocre second thriller. Thanks to a neurostimulator implant received as a child, Canada Gold can process information almost instantaneously, an ability that enables her to work as a jury consultant-and as a card counter. Canada still bears the psychic wounds from multiple traumas. Her father, Solomon, music director of the Chicago Symphony, was charged with the murder of his mistress, a cellist in his orchestra. After his acquittal, Solomon, who claimed to have reconstructed Mozart's intended ending for an unfinished composition, also was murdered. Canada's special gifts attract the attention of a shadowy cabal known as the Thousand, whose members are fanatical followers of the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras. The Thousand, of course, are behind many of the world's ills, such as the 9/11 attack and Hurricane Katrina, using "big disasters to disguise small crimes." Paper-thin characters and stock chase sequences make for a less than memorable read. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved