Review of 'The Venus Conspiracy' a novel by Michael Cordy.
I am reviewing the paperback version of this novel, ISBN 0552148830, published by Corgi Books, 464 pages, cover price £6.99, Genre:- Thriller.
The book is currently available from www.amazon.co.uk for £5.49 new or from 0.01p used.
A fairly short prologue consisting of just 8 or 9 pages. This is a dark and sinister glimpse into the terror of Max, a nine year old boy who, with his mother is being hunted down. The boy and his mother are caught one night and taken on board a yacht. Max is then forced to witness his mother being killed by drowning as she is thrown overboard. He dives into the water after her and tries desperately to save her to no avail. When he is heaved back onto the boat deck, he is told that he must never show emotion or pain again.
Professor Carlos Bacci inadvertently unlocks the biological key to falling in love. He develops a drug capable of recreating emotions which are indistinguishable from the real thing. Bacci is a naive, yet brilliant man who feels that his miracle drug should be used to benefit mankind and could create harmony and love in the troubled world. His research is expensive however and he struggles to continue his work, eventually he seeks funding and business advice from a private Swiss bank owned by the secretive and powerful Kappel family.
The head of the Kappel family, Helmut, sees love as a weak emotion to be exploited and unknown to Professor Bacci, he has his own plans for the wonder drug. Funding is approved with certain provisos, leaving Bacci able to continue in his work.
Little does the well meaning Professor realise that Helmut Kappel is a ruthless and arrogant man who will stop at nothing, even murder, to attain his own ends. The plot twists and turns through the storyline as we see Kappel using everyone around him, including his own flesh and blood in his quest to achieve his goals.
**About the Author**
British author Cordy was born in Ghana and spent much of his childhood in East and West Africa. On his return to the United Kingdom, he was educated at King's School, Canterbury and then attended Leicester and Durham universities. Following a career in marketing, Michael Cordy decided with the backing of his wife, Jenny to turn his back on his career and follow his dream of becoming an author. His first novel, 'The Miracle Strain', followed two years later. This book was controversial, dealing with the DNA of Christ.
Michael Cordy's writing has been compared to that of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton.
The author has produce 5 novels in total with a sixth currently in progress.
He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
My source for the above information was the author's website www.michaelcordy.com
**My Thoughts and Conclusion**
The Venus Conspiracy starts off as a fast paced thriller, but later descends into a romance of sorts along the way. The plot is complex and twists and turns through the rise and fall of certain characters. I felt the author had put a great deal of work into his story line and the plot fairly skips along. The Venus Conspiracy has well developed, believable characters in my opinion.
I do feel that the writing style is similar to that of Dan Brown and the author is not afraid to confront deep emotive issues in order to produce a cracking thriller with a good deal of human interest too.
This novel was a huge disappointment for me. In part I admit that this was my own fault. I have read several of the author's novels before and enjoyed them very much, so when I spotted The Venus Conspiracy in the reduced section of a bookshop recently, I snatched it up without really reading the book 'blurb'.
Had I done so, I would have seen the warning that this book is in fact the novel 'True' republished under a new title! It became apparent after I had read a few pages that I had read this novel sometime previously.
I cannot altogether approve of this practise and I felt somewhat cheated, however, as previously stated I did not really read the back of the book so it was my own fault!
In spite of the comments above, I would re-read this novel. I did enjoy the story and felt the characters, storyline and outcome were excellent. It is a well crafted novel and I would recommend it to others, just as long as they haven't already read 'True' by the same author!
My thanks for reading,
©brittle1906 December 2010
N.B. My reviews may be found on other sites under the same user name.
Another author recommended to me, this time from a work colleague. I was looking for a book called 'Miracle Strain' but they had sold out so after reading the introduction I thought I would try this one.
About the author:
Michael Cordy gave up a successful marketing career to pursue his dream of becoming a novelist. So far he has written five books, 'The Miracle Strain' in 1997, 'Crime Zero' in 1999, 'Lucifer' in 2001, 'True' in 2004 and 'The Source' in 2008.
About the book:
Professor Carlos Bacci has been seeking recognition for being a great scientist for many years. His efforts in his view have been thwarted by the large pharmaceutical companies wanting control over his discoveries and his work.
In desperation he approaches a wealthy but unknown to him shady Swiss Bank. Who agree to help develop and supply the finances for his latest project, which is a drug that makes you fall helplessly in love with someone else regardless of who they are.
The Swiss Bank is fronted by the Kappel family, who will do anything to maintain and develop their power and influence in society. They see this product in a way Bacci could never imagine and how it can be used to exploit people.
However Bacci becomes very suspicious when his daughter's best friend Phoebe, an international model falls head over heals in love with Helmet Kappel, a vile man in his 60's. He attempts to pull out of the deal but is brutally killed along with his wife.
His Daughter Isabella is left alone, sad and confused. As she tries to understand what her father was working on and why he should be murdered. She is suspicious of her best friends sudden love for this older man and with her father's documentation tries to solve the puzzle and prevent both the wedding and Kappel's plans to exploit her fathers work.
My thoughts on the book:
My overall thoughts are this is a good and enjoyable book.
Please note that this book has been printed twice under two different titles, the copy I read was called True but now this has been replaced by The Venus Conspiracy, so there may be copies of this book under either name in the maket place.
Initially however I found the book hard to get into. I found the chapter's too short and lacking real depth on the characters and the background. Anyone who reads my reviews will know I prefer short chapters but between 3 and 5 pages I found too short.
However, as I read further I got used to this style and started to enjoy the book. As I found the subject matter more than made up for this. But I still found it disconcerting the way the author would take you to different places with different characters within the same timeframe in the book.
That said, once the two main characters Max and Isabella really took centre stage I found two characters I was interested in and could relate to.
This was because at the heart of the novel was an intriguing story. About drugs that can make anybody love you and how people would exploit this, despite the inventor's best intentions. As a result I felt I must learn more and see what happened to the books main players.
The books pace was good and the story developed in a quick and exciting way. And despite its slow start I found I literally read the last 100 pages without a break. As by this stage the story had really gripped me. There was so much action and adventure to enjoy and my desire to see the Kappel family fail in their mission to control the World's people.
I found the author's style of writing very easy to understand, he was in the main descriptive without being too flowery and his story worked for me. Even if at times everything seemed a little too easy to achieve.
I also liked the way the author included both a prologue and an epilogue. Both of which were well written and provided the reader with a good introduction and conclusion to the story.
Yes in the end it was an enjoyable book and I would recommend it. However, I feel I must reserve judgement on this author until I have read another of his books.
Published by Harper Collins/ Corgi Books
Amazon Price: £7.25
Thanks for reading!!
This review is also in Ciao under my name.
@CPTDANIELS December 2008