The Tree of Knowledge
by Daniel G. Miller
Houndstooth Books

"Logic provided a cool, comforting refuge against the hot, emotional chaos of the world."

A Princeton detective approaches Professor Albert Puddles for help in decoding a game tree found at a crime scene. Puddles and his teaching assistant, Ying Koh, seek the help of Professor Angus Turner, an expert in cryptology. The aging professor instantly recognizes the mysterious game tree as the work of former student Eva Fix. Eva is the daughter of Turner's past love, the brilliant and beautiful Cristina Culebra, a politician with whom he shared his greatest achievement, The Tree of Knowledge. In the wrong hands, Turner's creation could have devastating effects. Both mother and daughter are members of The Society, a think tank which has morphed into "a multi-pronged political apparatus" with extensive and ruthless power. Within hours of Turner associating the game tree with Eva, Puddles is implicated in a murder, and he, Ying, and Turner find themselves on the run.

Filled with fascinating characters, breathtaking action, political intrigue, interesting riddles, and loads of information about cryptology, this novel grabs one's interest from page one. Miller is a gifted writer who manages to strike a good pace with this mesmerizing thriller. He includes just the right amount of action and backstory sprinkled with explanations of game trees and code with a few riddles thrown in for good measure. The story continues to keep the reader on edge from beginning to end. Even the minor characters are strong enough to grab the reader's imagination. With its numerous plot twists, nothing in this work is predictable. Descriptions of code and cryptology are written in such a way as to keep even those without mathematical inclinations interested. This novel is a wonderful read that should please anyone in search of a well-told, intriguing story.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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