Hear me out: it's a book about a famous composer from the 1920's who may have stolen the music that made him famous, and we have a present-day professor who is trying to authenticate a recently discovered piece, while working to solve the mystery.
Wait? You aren't biting?
I swear, it's actually really damn good! Brendan Slocumb has become an auto-read author for him ever since I gave The Violin Conspiracy a chance and ended up loving it. That one didn't sound that appealing to me either. A mystery novel about a stolen violin? Snooze fest.... But believe me, it won't put you to sleep. In fact, it'll have you turning the pages, while also teaching you about the history of music. Symphony of Secrets is Slocumb's sophomore novel and is anything but a sophomore slump.
Professor Bern Hendricks is hired by a powerful foundation to authenticate a recently discovered composition done by famous composer, Fredrik Delaney. Bern has idolized Delaney most of his life and owes much of his success in the music field to the very foundation hiring him for this once in a lifetime opportunity. While researching the piece, Bern uncovers signs that Delaney might have had assistance in writing his music. It quickly devolves into a race against time to uncover the truth-did Delaney write his own music or did he steal it from someone else?
What I love about Brendan Slocumb is that he is a musician by trade and shares his love and knowledge of the industry through his writing but puts a suspenseful spin on it. I know little to nothing about famous composers, other than I am pretty sure there was one named Bach and one named Beethoven. Or were they the same person? I don't even know.... So here we are learning about a famous composer who started from nothing and ended up writing some of the most famous musical compositions in the world. Bern is elated to be selected for this important job and finds himself under constant surveillance by the foundation who hired him because, this is important stuff and there is a lot of money on the line. Where there is money and power, there is almost always lies and secrets, and that is exactly what comes out as Bern digs in deeper.
I loved how the story was told from dual timelines. Chapters changed from Bern's perspective in the present-day, to Fredrik Delaney's perspective in the 1920's and had sprinklings of Josephine Reed's perspective, who plays a major role in the story as Delaney's 'secret' partner. As Delaney gains momentum in his career, the power takes over him and things quickly escalate out of control. During alternate chapters, things are catching up with Bern as the foundation tries to silence him. It's truly genius. *chef's kiss*
Other books by this author:
The Violin Conspiracy (click to read review)