“ Author: Anonymous / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 02 June 2011 / Genre: Crime & Thriller / Subcategory: Thriller / Suspense General / Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books Ltd / Title: The Book with No Name / ISBN 13: 9781843175766 / ISBN 10: 1843175766 / Alternative EAN: 9781843172833 „
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This was a very strange book and one that I picked up as I was intrigued by the title and the fact that the author was Anonymous. According to the blurb on the back of the book this was originally self-published on the internet.
The plot centres around (unsurprisingly) "The Book With No Name" - a book which if read leads to the death of the reader. I thought this sounded quite interesting but the mysterious book is not as central as you would assume from the premise.
The other main plot focus is on the retrieval of a precious stone known as "The Eye of the Moon". This stone is rumoured to have magical powers and is guarded by a group of monks known as Hubals who live on an island.
The book is set in Santa Mondega, a town that is a dangerous place to live and one that is conveniently forgotten about by the rest of the country. We are never told exactly where Santa Mondega is but I assumed it was set in America.
"The Eye of the Moon" is so central because everyone wants to get hold of it - hitmen, bounty hunters, gangsters and the monks sent to retrieve it. Everyone wants the stone before a total eclipse occurs as the stone is rumoured to have power over the moon. Santa Mondega could be left in permanent darkness - something that would suit certain factions of the town perfectly.
One of the central characters is the Bourbon Kid - the book opens with the Kid's first appearance in Santa Mondega. The Bourbon Kid is a pitiless killer, so named after his habit of killing everyone after he drinks Bourbon. The Kid is also looking for the stone but we don't know why.
The young Hubal monks sent to retrieve the stone, Kyle and Peto, are clueless and have never left the safety of their island before. Their attitudes to the town are quite amusing and they soon learn to fit in due through watching tv and showing their fighting skills.
Jefe the Bounty Hunter is in town and at first is in possession of the "Eye of the Moon". He has stolen it in order to collect the bounty from the local crime boss El Santino. Needless to say it's not that simple. Jefe provides a bit of comedy throughout.
Jessica is a mysterious young woman who wakes up from a coma after five years. She doesn't know who she is or what happened to her. She only knows that Sanchez the bartender saved her after the Bourbon Kid's last rampage which she somehow survived. Jessica never really seems to come to life, she is not very well fleshed out and just didn't hold my interest much.
Miles Jensen is a supernatural investigator who has been sent to Santa Mondega by the government. He is paired with Somers - a retired detective who is obsessed with catching the Bourbon Kid. Miles is a bit irritating as a character and isn't very engaging.
Sanchez is the bartender in The Tapioca and is used to dealing with the scumbags of Santa Mondega. He is very enamoured of the lovely Jessica and is desperate for her to notice him. He is quite a cowardly character but isn't unlikeable.
Dante and Kacy are a young couple who get mixed up in the search for the stone through their thieving tendencies. They are quite amusing characters and are always just one step ahead accidentally.
Rodeo Rex is a famous fighter who periodically comes to town. He is well known and respected as well as feared. He also turns out to have another job on the side. As a character Rex is not bad but he is really just a device used by the author to reveal yet another sub-plot.
The story switches viewpoint continually - from the young Hubal monks, Kyle and Peto to Jefe the Bounty Hunter to Jessica to Sanchez the bartender to Dante and Kacy to the supernatural investigator Miles Jensen who has been sent to town by the government.
There are even more minor characters and this is what makes the story a bit confusing.
There is no real genre that this book sticks to - it seems to be a mix of cowboy/Western, horror/supernatural and gangster plots. It really seems to be a strange mishmash and it was one that I couldn't really get into.
I found this a struggle to read as there wasn't really any clear plot - there were a million things going on at once with a million different characters. I felt that it was quite weak as although there are a few central features such as "the Book with No Name" and the "Eye of The Moon" they didn't manage to make it cohesive.
It sometimes felt as though the author had forgotten about certain aspects and then just tacked them on again when they remembered. I found this particularly true of the mysterious book. This might be because the plot jumps about so much but it was quite off-putting.
I wouldn't really recommend this as I just didn't enjoy it much but if you want something that's a bit different it might be for you. I'm pretty sure there aren't many books similar to this one. It must have been fairly successful as I noticed on Amazon that there is a sequel. I'm quite amazed as I don't think I could put myself through that again!
I enjoyed parts of the book but as a whole it didn't seem to work together.
This book is available from Amazon from £5.19.
This review is also on ciao.co.uk under my username.