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Author Ben Adams - The BookViral Spotlight Review
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Enigmatology, the study and design of puzzles!
Twenty-something, John Abernathy is disillusioned. His job as a private investigator is unfulfilling, and he can’t find work in his chosen field, He is about to quit when the National Enquirer calls. A woman in Las Vegas, New Mexico sent them a photo of someone who’s supposed to have died 35 years ago—Elvis Aaron Presley. And they need John to investigate it.
When the Elvis impersonator, Al Leadbelly, is murdered, John investigates, finding Air Force colonel, Alvin Hollister—convinced Leadbelly has information regarding Elvis's death—at the crime scene conducting his own investigation. John discovers great-great-great grandfather's journal—unearthing a conspiracy entwining Elvis, shape-shifting aliens, and Mary Todd Lincoln. When John finds Leadbelly, alive and wearing a sequined jumpsuit, John must help him escape before Colonel Hollister finds him, and discover if Leadbelly is really Elvis, an obsessed fan, or something more.
Vividly imaginative and unassumingly assured, The Enigmatologist proves a gem of a debut for Ben Adams. A cool, indie ‘mash-up’ of genres set against a Nevada background, it’s an artful combination of pizzazz, mystery, solemnity and laugh out loud humour that invites us to think of the clichéd private eye persona in an altogether new way. As the story unfolds it provides a rich source of dialogue, behaviour and incidents whilst in John Abernathy and Al Leadbelly we discover characters who quickly grab our attention and we quickly come to care about. These alone are reason to turn the pages, but what is particularly clever is how Adams transposes the attitudes and dialogue of classic detective fiction to create an altogether original narrative. Take it for granted that the plot is somewhat eccentric with stories within stories. There’s conspiracies and alien intrigue with Adams keeping us on point through out with arbitrary twists, but what ultimately makes his debut stand out is how the underlying themes come together into a pitch perfect denouement which will leave you wondering what really happened to Elvis!
If there’s any justice in the world then The Enigmatologist deserves to be widely applauded. A superb debut for Adams, it is recommended without reservation.
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