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Becker, James - 'The Moses Stone'
Paperback: 572 pages (July 2009) Publisher: Bantam Books ISBN: 0553819739

Another fantastic offering by James Becker that is every bit as good as his first (THE FIRST APOSTLE). It is fast-paced, "edge of the seat" stuff that is nearly impossible to put down. If you like crime fiction with a religious twist, then you must put this book at the top of your 'to read' list.

THE MOSES STONE sees the return of Chris Bronson, a British policeman, and Angela Lewis, an archeology expert from the British Museum, and Bronson's ex-wife. This time they solve the mystery of a seemingly worthless clay fragment covered in ancient writing. The tablet is picked up innocently by an English couple holidaying in Morocco and this simple act leads to their violent and premature deaths, followed closely by that of their daughter. Bronson is initially called in to assess the murders in Morocco, which have been labeled as a tragic accident. At first Bronson believes that this is exactly what has happened but changes his mind after he is himself chased by a gun-touting thug and only just manages to get away unscathed. The mysterious clay tablet is nowhere to be seen, so Bronson sends an electronic copy of a photo of it to his ex-wife for analysis and translation.

And this is just the beginning.

Bronson and Lewis follow a trail of clues to unravel the tablet's mysteries and end up being chased across Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, by more than one group of armed and dangerous men. The implications of their discovery has them breathless with wonder and it seems very likely that this finding will enhance Angela's academic reputation no end, but everything is changed by a delightful final twist.

In addition to the gripping storyline, Becker's work is so captivating because of his vast amount of knowledge on the subject. He has cleverly interwoven a mixture of historical and Biblical information with fiction and in places the overlap is rather blurred, so it keeps you interested and guessing all the way through.

Definitely a most excellent read.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
October 2009

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 11/10/2009 10:27