While I generally like to stick to authors I know and like, I also like finding new (or at least new to me) authors. Since I like the suspense, action/adventure, and mystery genres, The Mozart Conspiracy seemed like a good fit.
I saw on the jacket that the book was compared to being written in the tradition of both Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown. While I wouldn't disagree with that assessment (I have read and like both authors), the writing reminded me more of Jack Higgins and Steve Berry. All of the authors have action and mysteries, but why the book reminds me of the latter authors a bit more is that it seems to have a pared down edginess. Even with the comparisons, Scott Mariani's writing stands on its own two feet, grabs the reader and doesn't let go.
I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys a good thrill ride.
It should be noted that The Mozart Conspiracy is the first US publication featuring Ben Hope. According to the author's Web site, there are three other books that have an UK publication, one prior to this book and two that come after this one.
A centuries-old mystery. An “accidental” death. A conspiracy that may end in murder. Former British Special Air Service officer Ben Hope is running for his life. Enlisted by Leigh Llewellyn—the beautiful, world-famous opera star and Ben’s first love—to investigate her brother, Oliver’s, mysterious death, Ben finds himself caught up in a puzzle dating back to the 1700s.
At the time of his death, Oliver was working on a new book about Mozart. Though the official report states that Oliver died in a tragic accident, the facts don’t add up. But as Ben and Leigh dig deeper, they find that Oliver’s research reveals that Mozart, a notable Freemason, may have been killed by a shadowy and powerful splinter group of the organization. The only proof lies in a missing letter, believed to have been written by Mozart himself. When Leigh and Ben receive a video documenting a ritual sacrifice performed by hooded men, they realize that the sect is still in existence today and will stop at nothing to keep its secrets.
From the dreaming spires of Oxford and Venice’s labyrinthine canals to the majestic architecture of Vienna, Ben and Leigh must race across Europe to uncover the truth behind the Mozart conspiracy before they become its next victims. In the tradition of Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown, Scott Mariani’s The Mozart Conspiracy is an electrifying thriller and the start of an exciting new series.