A ripping yarn torn from the pages of many another adventure tale, this high-speed, low-quality mashup concerns an ancient female sect and the present-day seekers of its secrets.
When brainy Jeremy Grady is slain in his MIT computer lab, it’s soon clear that the murderer failed to reckon with twin brother and doughty field anthropologist Jack. He has a support team comprising a silent computer whiz and a wisecracking Asian who manage the problems Jack can’t handle with his wits, his muscle or his uncanny puzzle-solving skills. (And yet, he fails to notice that the word “seven” has “eve” between the two global “n” and “s” poles!) As he works to unravel his brother’s mind-boggling discovery about a connection between the Ancient and Modern Seven Wonders of the World, Jack acquires a partner in stoic botanical geneticist Sloane Costa. Her desire for tenure and her incredible discovery in the lower depths of the Coliseum might further Jack’s pursuit of the centuries-old Amazons and the Order of Eve and maybe the Tree of Life in Eden. But can they stay one step ahead of the beautiful DNA-business billionaire Jendari Saphra, who covets the secret of Mitochondrial Eve and has at her disposal a fantastic wardrobe (Swarovski, Herve Leger, Versace) and a centuries-old gang of trained killers with ivory javelins? What about the asps, the giant crocodile, the 40,000 severed hands and the countless spiders? Mezrich (Straight Flush, 2013, etc.) rings up a debt to, among others, James Bond, Indiana Jones, the Nicholas Cage National Treasure series and the Brendan Fraser mummy movies that is incalculable. OK, it’s a genre rife with borrowing but rarely on such a scale.
A comiclike outing rich in repetition and clichés, this typing exercise is at heart an intriguing story that deserved a writer who could rise at least to the level of a Dan Brown, yet another Mezrich creditor.