The Puzzle Master
December 28, 2023

Book Review

The Puzzle Master

reviewed by Erin Clemence

Danielle Trussoni’s The Puzzle Master is a captivating and imaginative tale that weaves together elements of religious tradition, supernatural forces, porcelain dolls, and intriguing puzzles. The story centers around Mike Brink, who, after a traumatic brain injury ended his football aspirations, developed a rare condition known as “savant syndrome.” This condition enables him to see patterns in everything and solve almost any puzzle presented to him.

Mike’s unique skills are put to the test when author Jess Price, currently in an asylum for the murder of her partner and not speaking to anyone, reaches out to him with an unsolvable puzzle. As Mike delves into the mystery, he discovers that Jess is privy to more than she can communicate, and unraveling this puzzle requires him to risk everything.

The Puzzle Master, my first exposure to Trussoni’s work, has swiftly elevated her to the top of my “must-read” list. Trussoni, an award-winning author known for best-sellers like The Fortress, Angelology, and The Ancestor, brings her expertise to this thrilling narrative.

Mike Brink, reminiscent of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon, is an expert in his field whose unique abilities have made him a target for various agencies, including a stint at the NSA. This novel, starting with an innocent puzzle created by Brink, takes readers on an exhilarating journey that maintains its grip until the very end.

The plot is skillfully crafted and well-developed, beginning with Brink’s focus on Jess Price and the mystery surrounding her partner. The story then seamlessly transitions into a confrontation with powerful figures intent on keeping Jess silent. The introduction of supernatural elements like golems and regeneration blends surprisingly well into the narrative fabric, creating a cohesive and compelling story.

Each plot twist in The Puzzle Master is both propulsive and riveting, leading the reader down unexpected paths and into new adventures. Trussoni’s unique storytelling makes the outcome unpredictable, and the journey is thoroughly enjoyable. The character of Mike Brink, with his fascinating mind, has great potential for future stories, and I eagerly anticipate seeing more of his adventures in Trussoni’s subsequent works.

The Puzzle Master is available at:

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