Propinquity_by_John_Macgregor_BookReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Propinquity was an interesting read. It was touted as a precursor to The Da Vinci Code. The back cover promised “…a modern-day couple racing across continents, the law on their tail, to unravel the story’s riddles. It was published 17 years before the The Da Vinci Code.” After reading this I thought this was an international thriller about a religious conspiracy that would redefine and bring down the Christian Church.

For better or worse, Propinquity didn’t resemble The Da Vinci Code at all until over halfway through the book. Then I saw where they were trying to make the comparison. In my opinion, whoever wrote the back cover blurb did a major injustice to the work. Those who are expecting an international thriller will be very disappointed. It is not a thriller in any sense of the word. However, I still thought it was a pretty good book and might have liked it more had it been accurately described.

Propinquity begins with the main character Clive Edward when he is still in high school in Australia. We continue to follow him as he moves on to a university, grows up and loses touch with friends in the process. More and more things happen in his life and Clive seems to be tossed by the seas of fate, the whole time smoking his Black Russians.

Finally, he washes up on the shores of England, where he is planning on finishing his medical degree. Here he meets a lovely woman in a business deal to sell some patent rights he inherited from his father. They hit it off and Clive discovers that she’s the daughter of the Dean of Westminster Abbey. She also hints she knows of secrets hidden in its depths. For some reason this captures Clive’s imagination and he wants to learn more. It has life changing consequences for all involved.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good book and I am glad I read it. I found the authors writing fun and interesting. Macgregor is/was an investigative journalist, and while newspapers are supposed to be written at an 8th grade level, Macgregor isn’t constrained to that in his novel. He has fun using big and unusual words throughout the work. Don’t get me wrong–this book isn’t filled with incomprehensible words, but he liked to put at least one new word in every chapter. I suppose the title Propinquity might be a clue to that. Strange and humorous from beginning to end.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by John Macgregor. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.