Sequence by Adrian Dawson

Sequence by Adrian Dawson

A naked male, dead in an alleyway with bullets that don’t make sense. A note, written in 13th Century Latin secreted about his person along with the name and room number of an autistic mental patient. Fingerprints burned away and tattoos completely removed. Of all the possible duties, the last task LAPD detective Nick Lambert wanted was the drive to Oakdene to interview the girl. It gets worse when he discovers that as well as being autistic, she’s also mute.

But when an off-hand comment from the nurse piques Nick’s attention, he can’t help but follow the lead. What he finds will turn his entire world – his entire existence – upside down. Clues to the location of valuable stone tablets, the only tablets described in Exodus as being ‘written by the hand of God’. These are not the Ten Commandments… these are ALL the commandments and Nick suddenly finds himself at the heart of a centuries old battle to find, and hide, the kind of extremely valuable information that mankind was never meant to possess.

It is only when Nick realises he was a key player in the game long before it started, and that he will be a key player long after it is over, that he will discover the true importance of those around him. Nick has no so inadvertently stumbled into the most important human being who has ever lived. One who will not only change the world once, but will do it over and over again.

Within a few pages I just knew I’d have to have my wits about me with Sequence, the new conspiracy/Hi-Tec thriller from Adrian Dawson and follow up to the highly successful Codex. I can safely say I don’t think I’ve read anything quite so complex and entertaining – ever – and although I found parts confusing, mainly due to the high scientific content way outside my comfort zone and the numerous time jumps, there’s no denying that Sequence is an incredible journey across time; past, present and the future included.

Weighing in at well over 500 pages Sequence is bigger than your average book and although I did find the beginning a little sedentary – again due to not getting my brain around the whole concept of the adventure – there came a point where I could hear myself shouting “Eureka”! I won’t say too much about this pivotal moment for fear of spoilers but I will say it involved a mouse called Charlie, Ceramics and Titanium bending! This particular passage was without doubt the moment when my brain kicked in to gear, my imagination went into overdrive and I began to really enjoy the book and its characters.

Talking of which, there are far too many characters to mention here but I must praise the author for Nick’s character. Wonderful characterisation and someone you could see propping up a bar and taking part in “One grumpy man in a bar” week on tv. There are of course others but I’ll let you, the reader, discover the hidden gems for there are many!

The Jack she had plied me with had been the green label – the good stuff. So good, in fact, that it had somehow enticed a small creature into my mouth overnight. A furry creature no less (and a smelly one, probably a racoon or something) which had subsequently died from alcohol poisoning and disintegrated, leaving only a still-warm pelt which was now determinedly clinging to the back of my throat.

Sequence will inevitably draw comparisons to Dan Brown and his conspiracy/religion thrillers but I have to say, Adrian Dawson is without a shadow of a doubt a better writer and most certainly a better storyteller. With a narrative that is both sharp and fluent it leads to an enviably taut thriller and I came away knowing for certain Dawson knew his stuff! As a side note I happen to own an illustrated copy of the Da Vinci code by Dan Brown and over the last couple of days I did find myself wondering if Sequence would benefit from an illustrated version full of maps, diagrams and art – a special edition if you will – and I came to the conclusion that and enhanced version although not necessary would complete this wonderful experience.

Sequence is a multi-layered adventure beginning in the 12th century with a prologue that matures deep within the novel and ending in late 2043, very much in the future and the height of technological advancement. Wonderfully crafted, Sequence is a veritable page turner with a story that grows and grows. One of the elements I found intriguing was the way Dawson managed to talk in the future without giving too much away in the present, quite an achievement, and although you glean a little of one person’s future Dawson is careful not to include it all allowing intelligent and well thought out explanations further down the line.

For me, music is as important to a book as it is to a feature film. Get the right music and it will enhance your viewing or reading pleasure. Authors, I have noticed recently, are beginning to utilise this by selecting certain tracks, music genres or artists and including them in the text of a novel. When Adrian Dawson mentioned the smooth velvet tone of Nina Simone’s “Here Comes The Sun” I found myself reaching for my iPhone and selecting “The Best of Nina Simone”, playing it non-stop for a few hours while Sequence moved along steadily in the background – or should that be the other way around?!

It’s quite possible this wasn’t Dawson’s intention but it certainly had the desired effect with me. I love it when I get so engrossed in a book that the subtlest of suggestion has me reacting in such a positive way. Fortunately I had the music to hand!

But the thing that impressed me more than anything else? The ending. The construction was breath-taking and a book of this magnitude deserved a well thought out and structured dénouement. It never once felt rushed and it was as if I was watching Dawson sitting in an armchair, feet up with a glass of Jack in hand, reciting his very words, slowly yet deliberately, just so that those following would understand. Every minute detail cared for, every miniscule and insignificant number dealt, every sequence of events finalised and every character accounted for – this is one bang on finish.

Published by Last Passage, Sequence is available in paperback format.

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