The Moses Expedition
Review: A diverse group of men and women, professionals and academics … and terrorists are on the trail for the Ark of the Covenant — the vessel that houses the Ten Commandment tablets — in The Moses Expedition, the second novel of suspense by Juan Gomez-Jurado.
Father Anthony Fowler has tracked down Dr. Graus, an escaped Nazi war criminal known as the "Butcher of Spiegelgrund," who in Vienna during the war tortured and killed seven hundred and fourteen Jewish children. Graus was given an ancient candle with a gold filigree around it by Jewish parents in hopes of saving their son. Graus took the package, but killed the son anyway. Graus has now traded the candle to Fowler for his life. When the wax is melted down, part of the map becomes visible — a map describing the location of the Ark. A top secret mission – the Moses Expedition – is arranged and funded by multimillionaire industrialist Raymond Kayn. Chosen for the undertaking include Kayn's steadfast assistant, Jacob Russell; Father Anthony Fowler, who works as a CIA agent and a member of the Vatican's Secret Service; Andrea Otero, a reporter; Dr. Harel, an Israeli physician; and a number of archaeologists and heavily armed security officers. For each and every one of them, their fate was sealed once they joined the team. But just who is Raymond Kayn, and what is his purpose in leading and financing this journey? Does he want to find out if the Ark exists for historical reasons? Or does he have other plans for it if it should be found?
These questions, however, pale in comparison to the bigger picture. If the Ark truly exists and is found, the Vatican insists the place for it is in a reinforced room one hundred and fifty feet beneath the Vatican. But according to a certain interpretation of the Torah, if the Ark is found, the Temple of Solomon should be rebuilt on the spot where the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands. If the Ark of the Covenant does actually exist and is found, what would be the religious and political aftermath?
The large cast of characters in The Moses Expedition are given unique and interesting traits, from the aging ultra-wealthy Raymond Kayn to Andrea Otero, a talented reporter called an "idiot and troublemaker" by her competitors. Shifting alliances and ever-present conflict keep the suspense level high, and while the events portrayed here are sometimes upsetting, often fear-provoking, they are always exciting to follow, if only to see where they lead next.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Moses Expedition.
Acknowledgment: Atria Books provided a copy of The Moses Expedition for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Plume (Trade Paperback), February 2008
ISBN-13: 9780452289123; ISBN-10: 0452289122
The Traitor's Emblem
Atria Books (Hardcover), July 2011
ISBN-13: 9781439198780; ISBN-10: 1439198780
Location(s) referenced in The Moses Expedition: Middle East
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The Moses Expedition by Juan Gomez-Jurado
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 2010
List Price: $24.99