Synopses & Reviews
Kevin Guilfoiles riveting follow-up to Cast of Shadows
“a masterpiece of intelligent plotting”—Salon
) centers on an extraordinary young womans race to find her fathers killer and to free herself from the cross fire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.
In 530 B.C., a mysterious ship appeared off the rainy shores of Croton, in what is now Italy. After three days the skies finally cleared and a man disembarked to address the curious and frightened crowd that had gathered along the wet sands. He called himself Pythagoras. Exactly what he said that day is unknown, but a thousand men and women abandoned their lives and families to follow him. They became a community. A school. A cult dedicated to the search for a mathematical theory of everything. Although Pythagoras would die years later, following a bloody purge, his disciples would influence Western philosophy, science, and mathematics for all time.
Chicago, the present day. Canada Gold, a girl both gifted and burdened by uncanny mental abilities, is putting her skills to questionable use in the casinos and courthouses of Las Vegas when she finds herself drawn back to the city in which her father, the renowned composer Solomon Gold, was killed while composing his magnum opus. Beautiful, brilliant, troubled, Canada has never heard of the Thousand, a clandestine group of powerful individuals safeguarding and exploiting the secret teachings of Pythagoras. But as she struggles to understand her fathers unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in the violence erupting between members of the fractured ancient cult while she is relentlessly pursued by those who want to use her, those who want to kill her, and the one person who wants to save her.
In an irresistibly ambitious novel that fuses historical fact with contemporary suspense, Kevin Guilfoile delivers an erudite, propulsively entertaining thriller that seamlessly traverses the realms of math, science, music, and philosophy. The Thousand is ringing confirmation of Guilfoiles enormous talent.
"Guilfoile (Cast of Shadows) ventures into Dan Brown territory in his mediocre second thriller. Thanks to a neurostimulator implant received as a child, Canada Gold can process information almost instantaneously, an ability that enables her to work as a jury consultant--and as a card counter. Canada still bears the psychic wounds from multiple traumas. Her father, Solomon, music director of the Chicago Symphony, was charged with the murder of his mistress, a cellist in his orchestra. After his acquittal, Solomon, who claimed to have reconstructed Mozart's intended ending for an unfinished composition, also was murdered. Canada's special gifts attract the attention of a shadowy cabal known as the Thousand, whose members are fanatical followers of the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras. The Thousand, of course, are behind many of the world's ills, such as the 9/11 attack and Hurricane Katrina, using 'big disasters to disguise small crimes.' Paper-thin characters and stock chase sequences make for a less than memorable read. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Mr. Guilfoile has the sleight-of-hand skills and showmanship of a Vegas magician, juggling several intersecting plot lines at the same time, cutting back and forth among them to build tension and a sense of impending danger....
But then, the real pleasures of reading The Thousand have less to do with the story's portentously withheld secrets than with Mr. Guilfoile's keenly observed characters, his gritty feel for the city of Chicago and his ability to weave artfully all sorts of philosophical questions -- like the relationship of music and math, and the morality of using scientific knowledge -- into his hectic, bloodstained plot. New York Times
"A taut suspense thriller about a gifted girl and the ancient cult that wants to use her mental abilities for its own sketchy ends." Entertainment Weekly
"The Thousand is filled with vivid characters, chills and thrills, and a Chicago brought to inventive, creative life." Chicago Tribune
"The Thousand is a deftly original conspiracy thriller with roller-coaster pacing and cracking good characters. Canada Gold gives Lisbeth Salander a run for haute female warrior of the year." Winnipeg Free Press
Kevin Guilfoile’s riveting follow-up to Cast of Shadows
(“Spellbinding” —Chicago Tribune;
“A masterpiece of intelligent plotting” —Salon
) centers on an extraordinary young woman’s race to find her father’s killer and to free herself from the crossfire of a centuries-old, clandestine civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.
In 500 B.C. a mysterious ship appeared off the coast of what is now Italy. A man disembarked to address the frightened crowd along the shore. He called himself Pythagoras and when he was done speaking a thousand men and women abandoned their lives to follow him; his disciples would influence western philosophy, science, and mathematics for all time.
Chicago, the present. Solomon Gold has tapped into valuable and dangerous secrets while composing his magnum opus: the Gold Completion of Mozart’s infamous unfinished requiem. After he is murdered, his brilliant daughter—a girl whose uncanny mental gifts have left her both powerful and troubled—finds herself racing to understand his composition, his murder, and, as violence erupts all around her, a fractured, ancient cult descended from the original disciples of Pythagoras.
The Thousand is ringing confirmation of Guilfoile’s enormous talent.
About the Author
Kevin Guilfoile has written for McSweeneys, Salon, The Morning News, and The New Republic. His first novel, Cast of Shadows, has been translated into more than fifteen languages. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children.