“An ingenious literary thriller that combines everything I want in a book: immersive, exhilarating, intellectually provocative, unputdownable—an absolutely blistering Russian nesting doll of fascinating stories that unveil and dismantle some of the most deeply engrained ideas about good, evil, and the origins of humankind. In short: THE PUZZLE MASTER = (The Da Vinci Code + The Silent Patient + sprinkle of Stephen King) x gorgeous writing” –Angie Kim, bestselling author of Miracle Creek
THE PUZZLE MASTER
by Danielle Trussoni
Random House, June 2023
(via Writers House)
All the world is a puzzle, and 28-year-old Mike Brink—a celebrated and ingenious puzzle constructor—understands its patterns like no one else. Once a promising football star, he was transformed by a traumatic brain injury that caused a rare (but real) medical condition: Sudden Acquired Savant Syndrome. The injury left him with a mental superpower—he can solve puzzles, calculate equations, and see patterns in ways the rest of us can’t. But his condition has also left him damaged: he feels deeply isolated because of his talent, and unable to fully connect with other people. Puzzle-solving has become Mike Brink’s only way to manage his gift and maintain emotional well-being.
Jess Price is serving 30 years in prison for murder but she has not spoken a word since her arrest five years before. When she draws a perplexing puzzle, her psychiatrist believes it will explain the crime she committed, and arranges for Mike Brink to meet Jess in prison and decipher the puzzle. What begins as a desire to crack a strange an alluring cipher quickly morphs into an obsession with the woman who drew the puzzle. When Jess Price reveals that there is something more urgent, and more dangerous, behind her silence, Mike Brink is thrust into the hunt for truth.
THE PUZZLE MASTER is a tantalizing, addictive novel of ideas that grabs the reader from page one, escalates tension with each puzzle, and delivers a dizzying finale. Blending elements of religious mysticism and historical research (the research information sheet is here) with vivid fictional elements, Danielle Trussoni creates a seamless world where reality and imagination meet.
Danielle Trussoni, author of the Angelology series, is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and winner of the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award. A New York Times, USA Today, internationally bestselling novelist, her work has been translated into over 30 languages and has been chosen as one of the NYTBR Ten Best Books of the Year.