Every guy loves a good action story — I am no exception. So when I was browsing through my local library I couldn’t help but find myself drawn to a book such as The Mozart Conspiracy. I had never heard of Scott Mariani before and from the little research I’ve done, it appears that he has only relatively recently been published in the U.S. Hopefully, his books continue to be published over seas because, despite a few minute problems, The Mozart Conspiracy is one of the better action thrillers I have read in some time.
Like every good book, The Mozart Conspiracy relies heavily on its characters to intrigue the reader. Readers will perhaps find no better cast of characters in the genre than can be found here. Benedict Hope, the primary protagonist in this series, is one of the best characters I have ever read — and that is not a statement made lightly. Ex-theologian and ex-special forces, Hope is now a vigilante who fights to protect the innocent from the perverse and the corrupt. Replacing the likes of Jason Bourne and Jack Ryan — Ben Hope is the new action hero on the block. The character has such an appeal that I would be shocked if you don’t see him on the big screen in the next five years. Yet, Hope would be nothing without strong supporting characters which Mariani does not skimp on. Every single character is beautifully crafted and well developed to give the novel a depth that is not necessarily expected.
Being largely character based, the plot line is great but not spectacular. The basic premise is this: a rogue group of Freemasons assassinated Mozart over 200 years ago and is still active — and still dangerous. Yet, what makes the story interesting is that the attack hits very close to home as Hope’s friend is murdered by the conspirators and now his first love’s life is also in danger. Overall, the plot-line is intriguing though certainly far fetched. It would seem as if these ex-Freemasons have absolute power and control over several European governments and no one can be trusted. While interesting, one will have to have some suspension of disbelief to fully buy in to many of the novel’s events.
The other weakness in the plot is the ending. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad ending in the way you may think; however, readers can probably skip the last 30 pages or so and avoid an unnecessary plot twist that doesn’t go anywhere and allows everything to fall back to how it was before the twist. Odd, I know, but Mariani can be forgiven considering how strong the rest of the work was.
The writing itself is rather simplistic and at times downright choppy. One does not expect to read Shakespeare when picking up an action thriller but that does not excuse what can come across as poor writing. That said, Mariani is very skilled at making his work cinematic. The reader cannot help but visualize these scenes occurring on the big screen with an amazing score by the likes of Hans Zimmer. It is fast paced and hard to put down. To be honest, this book is just fun.
When the smoke clears, there are few thrillers as exciting as The Mozart Conspiracy and very few characters as interesting as Ben Hope. The work is certainly not perfect as it includes unnecessary plot twists and choppy writing; however, the characters and excitement make the work a must read for fans of good action and conspiracy stories. Add Mariani, and particularly Ben Hope (as this is part of a larger series), to your must read list.
Content: R for Language as well as strong and, at times, graphic violence.