I was sceptical about The Righteous Men from the moment I read the strapline across the top: “The Greatest Challenger To Dan Brown’s Crown”.
Aw, shite. Not another Da Vinci Code rip-off.
The plot centers around Will Monroe, a rookie journalist at the New York Times whose wife is inexplicably kidnapped while he’s out obsessively working on a story. As he desperately tries to find and save his wife, he also needs to work out what the connection is between two unrelated murders he covered recently.
Interestingly, Will’s investigations lead him to an Hassidic neighbourhood in New York where he finds his wife’s captors and is promptly given a hiding by them.
Just to confuse matters, Will starts receiving cryptic clues by text message that seem to be guiding him. With the help of the text messages and his hot ex-girlfriend, Will has to find his wife before time runs out.
To be fair, The Righteous Men beats the Da Vinci Code for more realistic characters. You can empathise with Will Monroe more than you could with Dan Brown’s characters. His back story is more developed and you find yourself thinking about how you’d react in the same situation. You can also see his conflicts whenever he has to call upon his former girlfriend for help in decoding the text messages he’s been receiving.
I would say for the first two thirds of the book, I was completely drawn in. The last third, I had started to guess at how the story would end. Let’s just say that the storyline takes a weird and wonderful flight of fancy and becomes completely detached from reality.
The increasingly bizarre events and ever more unlikely climax ruin the book in my opinion. I won’t spoil the ending here, but maybe we can discuss it in the comments. If you want to avoid spoilers, don’t go any further.