The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell

Serpent PapersHave you ever picked up a book, read a few pages and thought, this author cannot be a real-life living human because this kind of intelligence cannot exist in a normal human mind? Well, this is a tome that will have you thinking thoughts of this exact nature. If Jessica Cornwell was not a member of my own book club, who speaks as eloquently as she writes, I’d suspect that she must be some kind of super-human (and I still do, a little).

The Serpent Papers fits into a unique literary genre sometimes referred to as ‘code crime’ – a genre in which the reader unravels a set of codes, or cryptic clues, in order to resolve a crime laid out by the author. It’s thrilling, clever and, at times, a little scary.

This one might be set in sunny Spain, but it soon takes its reader on a darker trip into the depths of some disturbing criminal behavior – stemming from a long history of sacrificial murders of young women in the area. Weaving alchemy, witchcraft and lost medieval papers, Cornwell spins these topics, which she knows so well, into a beautifully written story as told by her protagonist Anna Verco.

I would really hate to give too much away, but the gorgeously crafted world, incredible detail and research masterfully injected into this story is something worth immersing yourself into.

PS. The second book in this trilogy is set to be published in the not-too-distant future, so get started on the first in the series quick-sticks.

[Quercus, 2015]



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