Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Professor of Truth-James Robertson

The Professor of Truth

James Robertson

Other, Sep 10 2013, $15.95

ISBN: 9781590516324

Over two decades ago, the jumbo jet exploded in the sky over Scotland. English Literature Professor Alan Tealing lost his twenty-something wife Emily and their six year old daughter Alice in the calamity. Alan also knows he lost himself to that tragedy as he lives for one obsession since his family was murdered: finding the truth as to what happened on that fatal day.

An international inquiry led to the arrest of Khalil Khazar based on testimony by cabby Martin Parroulet who swore he took him to the departure airport where experts insist the bomb was brought on board. When Khazar died three year ago from cancer, almost everyone felt relief with case closed. Never receiving closure, Tealing continues to make inquiries and adamantly believes Khazar was a fall guy. Still over the years he has gotten nowhere including unable to locate the vanished witness until a dying CIA agent sends him to Australia where the cabby lives with his Vietnamese wife in the Outback.

Obviously tied to the Lockerbie disaster, The Professor of Truth is a fascinating look at the aftermath on one man who lost his loved ones in a plane catastrophe. The character driven (by the fixated griever) Scottish subplot is passive yet eerily vivid with plane parts on the ground becoming iconic tourist spots; while the Diogenes-like lead seeks the meaning of truth in western society and whether facts truly matter in a judicial system. The hero’s Australian adventures are more typical of the thriller subplot with plenty of gripping action. Whether a reader believes James Robertson’s assertions apply to Lockerbie or not, this remains an engaging tale.

Harriet Klausner

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