Pocket, Sep 2001, 25.00, 248 pp.
In 1491, Leonardo da Vinci invents a new alloy. He shapes it into a blade and places it inside a vise. He slams a mallet on the tip only to see the hammer split apart while the dagger remains whole. Knowing how his benefactors think, Leonardo believes that his creation would be used as a weapon of destruction. He hides his findings with the hope that the future will beget a world filled with peace that can use his alloy for the common good.
Five centuries later internationally recognized da Vinci expert Rollo Barnett decodes the Renaissance Man's enigmatic writing about the dagger. However, he and his wife die in a suspicious-looking fire. Two decades later, Rollo's son Reb learns that a billionaire arms dealer murdered his parents. He obsessively needs to complete his father's work on da Vinci and revenge himself on the killer though he places himself in danger from his parents' killer.
If thriller fans suspend logic for a few hours, they will enjoy an action packed tale. The story line requires the reader to accept a lot even from the start. For instance, da Vinci hides his new discovery for fear of weapon-use yet shapes it into a dagger. The arms dealer wants to make outer space smart bombs (don't ask how), but kills the prime source of locating the alloy. This consistent inconsistency is bothersome for those fans that need to believe in an “authentic” feel to the events. However, Cameron West's debut novel provides entertainment for those readers who want a simple but wild ride.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner