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Reviewed by Fiona Ingram for Readers' Favorite
Colton Foster, once hailed as a renowned expert in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek, had his reputation destroyed when a shadowy antiquities dealer outwitted him with master forgeries from Solomon’s Temple. Ten years later, an 800-year-old letter is discovered in an excavation site in Turkey—the ancient library of Constantinople. Colton is thrown a lifeline when he is invited to form part of an archaeological team whose task it is to translate the letter, which purportedly reveals the location of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Colton is angry to find one team member he thought he would never see again: Mallory Windom, an ancient languages expert. Colton blames her for the events leading to his ruined career. Mallory is smart and beautiful and likes nothing more than getting her way. Her shadowy past in the black market antiquities trade also makes her a prime suspect in the events that ensue once the letter has been translated, and the original destroyed in a mysterious bomb attack on the research offices. Colton and Mallory find themselves enmeshed in a scenario of double and triple cross, where other interested parties and their agendas—political, personal, and religious—clash with devastating results. Their colleagues murdered, their lives at risk, with huge rewards on their heads, Colton and Mallory know they must find Christianity’s most prized relic before less scrupulous people do so. In a trail that leads from Turkey, to Israel, and then to the Ukraine, and peppered with mysterious clues, the duo must keep one step ahead. Apart from the race against time, Colton and Mallory must find what they have both lost, trust, belief, and faith, as well as deal with falling in love.
An intriguing blend of archeological thriller, historical mystery, and love story, this book will appeal to most. Authors Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch have a feel for the kind of intrigue and the hectic pace will keep a reader glued to the page. The plot is exciting, the historical background is well researched, and the many twists and turns keep the reader guessing. Flashbacks to various historical events are interesting and add to the unfolding of the story, taking the reader back in time in a subtle way. Although sometimes I felt the authors told the reader too much, and anticipated the main characters’ reactions, overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.