The Puzzle Master
“This novel has it all and more . . . in the nimble, talented hands of Trussoni the pages fly.”
David Baldacci, #1 NYT bestselling author
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The Puzzle Master is a tantalizing, addictive thriller in which humankind, technology, and the future of the universe itself are at stake.
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All the world is a puzzle, and Mike Brink—a celebrated and ingenious puzzle constructor—understands its patterns like no one else. Once a promising Midwestern football star, Brink was transformed by a traumatic brain injury that caused a rare medical condition: acquired savant syndrome. The injury left him with a mental superpower—he can solve puzzles in ways ordinary people can’t. But it also left him deeply isolated, unable to fully connect with other people.
Everything changes after Brink meets Jess Price, a woman serving thirty years in prison for murder who hasn’t spoken a word since her arrest five years before. When Price draws a perplexing puzzle, her psychiatrist believes it will explain her crime and calls Brink to solve it. What begins as a desire to crack an alluring cipher quickly morphs into an obsession with Price herself. She soon reveals that there is something more urgent, and more dangerous, behind her silence, thrusting Brink into a hunt for the truth.
The quest takes Brink through a series of interlocking enigmas, but the heart of the mystery is the God Puzzle, a cryptic ancient prayer circle created by the thirteenth-century Jewish mystic Abraham Abulafia. As Brink navigates a maze of clues, and his emotional entanglement with Price becomes more intense, he realizes that there are powerful forces at work that he cannot escape.
Ranging from an upstate New York women’s prison to nineteenth-century Prague to the secret rooms of the Pierpont Morgan Library, The Puzzle Master is a tantalizing, addictive thriller in which humankind, technology, and the future of the universe itself are at stake.
The Puzzle Master Book Club Kit
Are you interested in introducing The Puzzle Master to your fellow Book Club members?
We put together a handy Book Club Kit with questions for discussion, a location guide, puzzles to test your wit against, and a music playlist to be inspired as you're reading.
Podcasts that feature The Puzzle Master and Danielle
Praise for the book:
“Utterly absorbing . . . The ‘master’ of the title isn’t the only master here. The word applies equally to the author of this fabulous novel.”Justin Cronin, author of The Passage Trilogy
“My kind of thriller.”Steve Berry, author of The Last Kingdom
“The Puzzle Master is a riveting, beautifully layered, fast-paced page-turner. You’ll want to clear your calendar for this one.”Janelle Brown, author of Pretty Things
“All bets are off…your summer beach read is a lock.”NPR Summer Mysteries and Thrillers
“This immersive, brilliant book is a labyrinth of ciphers, cryptograms, logic, puzzles, and word puzzles, and a doozy of a conspiracy. Wouldn’t you like to experience a book so singular?”The Star Tribune
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The hero of The Puzzle Master
Once a promising Midwestern football star, Brink was transformed by a traumatic brain injury that caused a rare medical condition: Acquired Savant Syndrome. The injury left him with a mental superpower—he can solve puzzles, calculate equations, and see patterns in ways ordinary people can’t. But his condition has also left him deeply isolated, unable to fully connect with other people.
Acquired Savant Syndrome
Some theories suggest that the brain injury or disease may damage certain areas of the brain while simultaneously activating or enhancing others, leading to the emergence of new abilities. Others suggest that the abilities may have been present all along, but were not previously noticeable or utilized due to their being suppressed by other brain functions.