The Independent Magazine for Freemasons
By: Joe Corso
This 209-page novel, written by Joe Corso, seems to be an attempt to ‘cash-in’ on the Masonic link storytelling made famous by Dan Brown.
I found this book to be less compelling than I had hoped, with a storyline that could be more plausible and a predictable outcome. The author claims to be a Freemason, which would explain his use of Masonic terms, yet I got the feeling that his Masonic knowledge and research was not extensive.
The words are well written, coherent and flowing, but are seriously let down by the storyline which seemed all too familiar. I got the distinct feeling that the author was deliberately introducing a few Masonic features to spice matters. His use of the principal characters’ membership of Freemasonry seemed a little contrived, and I found the Masonic references to be a bit lightweight.
The story starts with some promise and the principal characters certainly have the potential to be interesting, but, for me, the storyline let them down.
In this story, the main characters are hunting down treasure, which was hidden in dubious circumstances two hundred years earlier by their ancestors, achieved by following a series of clues, which were discovered by complete accident in one case and by design in the other. Unfortunately, I was unconvinced by the way that the secrets were discovered and how the further clues were found. The relationship between the two main characters was equally predictable. I found the final chapters lacked the promised mystery and complexity, especially the final discovery of the hidden treasure.
Joe Corso gives virtually no descriptive narrative of the places and locations where the main story takes place, (New Orleans), and thus missed the opportunity to build depth and character in the story.
There was little mystique in the (Masonic) clues the principal characters were following and references to Masonic secrets were minimal, but those were, less interesting than they might have been.
The story could have been beefed up with more cryptic clues, without the use of what the author deems ‘Masonic Cypher’. Seeing as this novel is centred on a Masonic angle, I was somewhat disappointed.
I may be being too critical and demanding – because I really did want to enjoy this book after all it promised. No doubt others will completely disagree with me. It wasn’t for me, so try it for yourself.
Reviewed by Andrew Farleigh
Black Horse Publishing