Release Date: 5/12/15
Enigmalogist, Jeremy Logan investigates mysteries that defy explanation. When he’s asked by Lux, a renowned think tank based in Newport, Rhode Island to investigate the inexplicable suicide of one of its most respected doctors, he finds a secret room with obscure scientific equipment that he soon discovers is tied to the present day events unfolding at the institution. If he can’t uncover the cause behind everything, even more lives will be lost, including his own.
The Forgotten Room is the fourth book with Dr. Jeremy Logan after Deep Storm (2007), Terminal Freeze (2009), and The Third Gate (2012). Being a long-time fan of Lincoln Child’s books written with Douglas Preston, as well as his solo books, it’s been rather fun seeing this character develop from being featured in one chapter in the first book, becoming a secondary character in the next, to finally achieving star status in the third. I found this fourth novel to be the most enjoyable to date. When Logan is asked by Lux for his assistance, he goes with mixed feelings. He was actually a researcher there before being unceremoniously shown the door because his field of expertise was considered pseudoscience. Still, he graciously accepts even though he’s faced with some of the same snobbery. The plot itself boils down to a good old fashioned mystery, which deviates a bit from Child’s previous books, which I’d describe more as action thrillers. At the center of this mystery is the question of why a distinguished professor would suddenly start behaving erratically, attack his assistant, and finally kill himself in a truly horrific manner. As Logan’s investigation progresses, he discovers a hidden room in a wing of the mansion, of which the late professor was overseeing renovations. The room is a time capsule of sorts, and has all sorts of strange equipment dating back to the 1930s. What was being done in this “forgotten room”, and why was it so studiously hidden? How is it tied to the behavior of the late professor, as well as other researchers? Child cleverly provides clues in relatively short chapters, which add up to a thrilling conclusion. Because the very nature of the institution encourages secrecy and competition amongst its residents, the villain isn’t readily apparent, which makes it even more compelling. The only thing that prevented this from being a perfect read for me was the rather long descriptions of the mansion’s architecture. While I appreciated that it was a gorgeous and massive building, I found all the technical jargon to be somewhat distracting from the central plot. Otherwise, this is a fun read and I hope the author will share even more of Jeremy Logan’s backstory in his next novel.