142015Jun

The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child

The Forgotten Room by Lincoln Child
Doubleday Publishing, 2015 290 pages

A self-designated ‘enigmalogist,’ Professor at Yale University and empath, Jeremy Logan, is invited back to Lux, one of the oldest and most respected think tanks in America, to investigate the gruesome, self-inflicted death of one of its most distinguished doctors, Dr. Willard Strachey.   Strachey had a long, successful career at Lux that was leading to long-awaited retirement, what could have caused the increasingly erratic and violent behavior of this normally even-tempered and well-respected man?  Logan now has the dubious responsibly of untangling the series of frightening events and bizarre behavior that led up to the truly shocking suicide while maintaining the reputation and privacy of the institution.

While digging through the last months of the deceased he discovers renovation plans for the abandoned West Wing of the sprawling, eighteenth century mansion.  Upon further investigation he uncovers an ingeniously hidden secret room, concealed and untouched for decades.  The room is a forgotten wasteland containing eerie and unidentifiable equipment manufactured by long ago defunct companies.  Since it’s obvious that the sledge-hammered hole in the wall was not the original entry point to the window-less, door-less room, what could possibly have taken place in this mysterious room that is not on any building plans.  What secrets is Lux keeping and why does it throw Logan and his fellow investigators into the path of danger?

When I picked up this book I was expecting a tale about a paranormal researcher on the hunt, ready to discover a ghost around every corner.  But instead I was amazingly surprised by a well thought out, well researched story with just as much science as mystery; a brilliantly woven tale of intrigue, science and the paranormal.

Not being a science minded individual, there were occasions when the scientific jargon went over my head, but Child is able to use the protagonist, Jeremy Logan, to help us understand as much as needed to successfully follow and enjoy the plot.  If you don’t let yourself get bogged down by the science involved, you will find an intriguing ‘who-dun-it’ mystery that is an unexpectedly interesting mix of science, the paranormal and life threatening situations.

Susana Goldman is the Branch Manager of the May Memorial Public Library.  She can be reached at sgoldman@alamancelibraries.org or (336) 229-3588.