Codex was written in 1999, and Adrian was immediately signed to the Christopher Little Literary Agency....publishers however thought that people interested in the subject matter of Codex, would turn to the non-fiction of Baigent and Leigh, and Codex failed to find a publisher....then three years later along came Dan Brown...
Here's what the latest reviewer said of Codex on Ransom Note:
Codex - Adrian Dawson (Published by Last Passage) This action packed techno-thriller should appeal to a wide audience, its gripping and twisting story captivating the reader from the first page. Terrorism, monks and chess all feature heavily in this intelligent and crisp page-turner. The parallels with a certain Dan Brown are there for all to see but the differences are telling and really this book shouldn't be mistaken as being a mere suspense-romp full of cliff hangers. Although cliffhangers drive this book along, the author Adrian Dawson is an accomplished author and one reads the book not only to find out how the story ends, but also to enjoy how the story is told and written. Where the Da Vinci Code looks cheap, Codex looks clean and stylish, where the editorial work in the former was shoddy to say the least, the latter seems pristine, and where Mr Brown's characters are superficial and often unbelievable, Mr Dawson's are well developed and believable. If you are looking for an exciting, exhilarating and engaging book for some sofa surfing over the Christmas period, this book ticks all the right boxes.
And here's the review from thebookbag.co.uk:
When I read the resume on the back cover I immediately thought that it was going to be one of those high-octane, action every second paragraph, type of thrillers. All action and perhaps very little substance. I was happily proved wrong. And very early on in the novel, as well, which was good.
Straight away, Dawson with his opening chapter gives us the sweeping statement The chess board is the world ... like life itself is governed by a set of rules ... Very appropriate, as the main character, Jack Bernstein is a dab hand at chess. Although he lives a very comfortable - some may say, enviable life in the US, he is not unfamiliar with personal tragedy. For example, he hasn't seen his only daughter Lara, for several years. He could probably tell us exactly to the very hour. In short, he's a broken man. Work keeps him busy. He's involved in computers in a glossy, corporate fashion. And he has a creative plan to become even bigger.
Suddenly, there's good news for workaholic Jack. Or so it seems. Lara is on her way home from, well, from God-knows-where. Jack doesn't know it yet, but she won't make it. If I say just two simple words - plane and terrorism, I'm sure you'll get the picture. And Dawson's smart but also poetic narrative sets the scene. It doesn't really waver. It is a constantly gripping read. As we take the final flight with Lara, I found it a moving and chilling piece of narrative. I was hooked. We are made all too aware of Lara's inner turmoil. But we are not told all of the details. I was impressed and I wasn't expecting to be impressed, especially not this early on in the novel.
Then everything starts to move at quite a pace. Jack is suddenly, somehow, caught up in a complex and intricate game of cat-and-mouse. Jack thinks he's the clever one. We meet a varied bunch of characters in this meaty story. Intelligent, ruthless individuals with their own particular end-game in mind. Secretive projects in secretive locations. But why? And to what end? There is a strong biblical element to the story and yes, I was reminded at times of The Da Vinci Code. (I haven't read the book but I've seen the film).
Various chapters are given over to a clutch of key characters as the plot deepens. We travel to various parts of the world also. Perhaps a little fanciful in places, but it is a thriller after all. Dawson's flair for creating strong characters shines. Even some of the names (particularly one) are creative and a master stroke (you'll find out why right at the end).
Everything you'd expect in a good thriller is here - and more. The FBI, secret sites, potential bomb scenarios and the like. This is an internationally-flavoured thriller with a compelling plot. It brushes up against real life several times to make your heart chill. To make you think. A treat for lovers of the thriller genre. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to Dawson's next one.
Codex is currently the #1 bestselling full length thriller on the UK iBookstore of 2010 - and with the parallels that are being drawn between Adrian Dawson and Dan Brown we'd be interested to know what Dan Brown fans think...
If you are interested in the holy grail myths, try The Waste Land and The Flowers of Evil by Simon Acland. I caught part of an interview by the author on Radio Oxford today - apparently his second book is out today, and it sounded a bit like that but better.
In a moment of shameful self- promotion I will point out my own novel `Fresco' was picked up by a couple of publishers because of comparisons with Dan Brown. It is a thriller based around the mysteries of a medieval fresco that leaves sadistic murder and mayhem in its wake. It was only uploaded to Kindle today and with the paperback out before the end of the week you may be the first to read it.
If you don't like the first free chapters then good luck with your search elsewhere Mrs Walters. Fresco