Archive for the ‘4’ Category

Another thriller with a historical twist, this wonderful novel combines a history lesson with a very real contemporary issue, namely the constant conflict in the middle east. For those who have read Paul Sussman’s first book, The Lost Army of Cambyses, his second novel is a much deeper read.Last Secret of the Temple

While the “Lost Army” was great entertainment and high paced action/thriller, The Last Secret of the Temple not only gives us a thrilling mystery, it’s also trying to show that with a common cause, people of different cultures do not have to be enemies. Once they get off their high horses, they might actually realize they have a lot in common.

Previous readers will be familiar with Egyptian police inspector Yusuf Khalifa in Luxor. He’s called to the scene of a murder of a hotel owner in the Valley of the Kings, and while the case seems to be easy at first, Khalifa is starting to have second thoughts of what actually happened, drawing parallells to a murder a long time ago. When the traces lead him to Jerusalem, he gets in contact with detective Arieh Ben Rhoi, who initially does his best to help the Arab inspector as little as he can. Also in Jerusalem, Palestinian journalist Layla Al-Madani has her own problems, constantly getting given a harsh treatment by Jewish police for her interviews with Palestinian extremists.

Gradually, the three threads become one, as the secrets uncovered by the murder of the Hotel owner leads us back to Nazi Germany, and then further back to the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. Secrets which if revealed, could cause the Middle East to explode.

While the book wasn’t as fast paced as the Lost Army, I found this one to be much better planned and it’s quite apparent that Sussman has put a lot of thought into this story (not saying he didn’t with the first one though). It is quite refreshing when someone shows that writing an entertaining thriller does not mean you have to “dumb down” the contents, and that you can actually make it meaningful as well.

Final Grade: 4/5

Sam Bourne - The Righteous Men

Posted by Mystery Reader under 4, Sam Bourne

The Righteous MenI found this book lying at Borders and more or less bought it based on the theme and presentation on the back, an approach that usually works best for me rather than reading reviews (ok, that’s a great way to induce readers to follow my blog). In this case, I made a good choice.

As you might have realized from some of my other reviews, I have a tendency to pick thrillers with both historic and religious themes, and with The Righteous Men, this is also the case; this time with Judaism rather than Christianity though.

The main character in Sam Bourne’s debut novel is british journalist Will Monroe, living in New York City with his wife. While investigating a possible link between two murders on opposite ends of the United States, Monroe comes home from a trip to Seattle to find his wife has been kidnapped.

As the story progresses, Monroe is desperately trying to find his wife, as well as trying to figure out the link between the first two murders, which are not the only ones in a series of murders spanning the entire world. The motive is slowly introduced to the reader in a well written storyline that had me spellbound from cover to cover.

Great serial-killer novel, with religious tie-ins.

Final Grade: 4/5

The Templar Legacy - Steve Berry

Posted by Mystery Reader under 4, Steve Berry

I’ll start this off with the punchline, so you really don’t have to read any further. Simply put, this book rocks. There, I’ve said it, that’s my review. No further comments needed.

Oh well.

Cotton Malone is a retired CIA-officer who’s moved from Atlanta to Copenhagen (Denmark) and opened a bookstore. However, as he’s visited by his old boss, and she’s attacked in broad daylight, he’s unwillingly thrown back into the fire, leading him on a cat and mouse trail across Europe in search of a Templar secret, chased by unknown murderers who are after information only Cotton’s boss has.

The foundation of the plot is scaringly similar to The Da Vinci code, but have no fear, this is much better. Unlike Dan Brown, Steve Berry not only weaves a good yarn, he is also a well accomplished writer.

While I’d put this book in the light weight category, it’s definately not of the same character as Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, for example, The Templar Legacy is both entertaining and thought provoking, and I actually ended up reading every book Berry has written after starting out with this one. Again, unlike Brown, Berry’s books all stand very well by themselves, and not one reminds you of the other.

Final Score 4/5

 

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