The Coolest Guy Around
Thriller Guy first became acquainted with Robert Masello’s work when he was assigned the author’s sixth book. Blood and Ice to review. TG loved the book and gave it a starred review. Briefly, it’s the story of a writer who goes to the Antarctic to write an article about a research station and while there stumbles on an incredible discovery, the bodies of a man and a woman chained together and frozen deep within the ice. The POV switches back and forth between the present and the 1850s where we learn about the man and woman, Lt. Sinclair Copley of the 17th Lancers and Eleanor Ames, a nurse. Of course the bodies slowly thaw, and of course they come back to life. Who could wish for it to be any other way? From then on, it’s all action and thrills with echoes of The Thing and the ending of Frankenstein. TG recommends this book to all readers of supernatural thrillers.
TG interviewed Masello, and found him funny, smart and extremely knowledgeable about the craft and work of writing, which resulted in several blog entries centering around Masello’s excellent book, Robert’s Rules of Writing.
Out in paperback now is Masello’s The Medusa Amulet, an ancient artifact, race-against-time thriller that incorporates supernatural elements and high-level, Da Vinci Code puzzles, with fascinating historical mysteries and plenty of action.
Here’s the deal: TG values intelligence above all in a thriller, and the one thread that runs through all of Masello’s work is how smart he is. He’s an excellent writer, plotter, characterizer and researcher, but he puts it all together in clever unexpected ways that make other thriller writers seem dull and uninspired. TG believes if the stars had been aligned only slightly differently, Masello would have occupied Dan Brown’s Da Vinci space and Dan Brown would have been just another thriller writer lost in the scrum.
Medusa is grounded in the work of Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini. Cellini is an absolutely fascinating historical figure. TG read his autobiography many years ago and recommends it highly to anyone who has an interest in Italian or any other art history. Cellini was, besides being a brilliant artist, a total rogue. He tells of killing a number of his enemies with his dagger and was officially accused or charged at least three times of the crime of sodomy with men, and on one occasion with a woman. Cellini fashions an amulet that has the power to bestow eternal life. In the present, art historian David Franco must find the amulet to save his sister who is dying of cancer. The search races around the world and includes a wide cast of historical characters, one of who is the last person in history the civilized world would want to have eternal life.
If you like this genre, let me know and the first person who does so will receive a signed copy of the book. If I can convince Masello to send one on. But, he’s a softy, so I think this is a done deal.