False Witness by Randy Singer (Tyndale, April 2011; originally published by Waterbrook in 2007), 432 pages
Bounty hunter Clark Shealy gets a call: His wife’s been kidnapped by the Chinese mafia and to get her back Shealy must bring them Kumari, who developed an algorithm that could break the internet (it quickly discerns the prime factors of very large numbers). Also, three law students get involved in case with a couple in witness protection.
Most of the way through, as I was reading, I really enjoyed this book. It’s suspenseful, and I found it promising. And I liked the parts about the Dalits in India (what there was of them). But in the end, False Witness was annoying.
I’m still greatly disappointed at the key to this giant, supposedly unsolvable mystery, was so simple — and given away to the reader so early. I’m not a math whiz, but I knew it immediately. I don’t believe the simplistic nature of this code fits the character of its creator, and I don’t believe Singer when he says it’s brilliant and unbreakable. Maybe I watched Numb3rs too recently?
One other pet peeve of mine irritated by this book: use of a euphemism for a body part. They have scientific names, people! Why are these words considered embarrassing or dirty? So. Very. Annoying.
I’m not sure if it was a matter of doing too much? The book being too long? The last 50 or so pages could have been an epilogue, though, and I think it would have been an improvement for me. In the days after finishing this book, my frustration with it — by and large just the last few dozen pages — grew and compounded.
I wish I liked this book, but I didn’t. It does have some positive qualities (see my first three sentences here), but they were far outweighed for me by its weaknesses.
Rating: 2.25 stars
About the author
Randy Singer is an author, trial attorney and preacher. He and his wife live in Virginia.
Other reviews (Mostly more positive than mine!)
The Friendly Book Nook
Books, Movies and Chinese Food
A Peek at My Bookshelf
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