In Cornell’s thriller, an unprecedented discovery could invalidate much of what historians believe about humankind’s ancient past.
While on an archeological venture in Jordan, members of a private military firm excavate ancient vessels similar to those housing the Dead Sea Scrolls. The company’s CEO, Victor Finn, enlists the services of expert paleolinguist Holly Webster and former Special Ops soldier Jack Butler to not only unravel the mystery surrounding the indecipherable text inside the vessels, but to travel back to the Middle East to search for more related relics. What the group doesn’t realize, however, is the existence of the Brotherhood, a radical Islamic organization whose mission is to ensure that the accepted historical paradigms of the day are protected and that anything or anyone that challenges those beliefs is promptly destroyed. The discoveries that Webster and Butler make in the field are jaw-dropping—a drastically different history of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, the translation of the original language of ancient man, the first Rosetta Stone, the unearthing of Moses’ tomb, etc. And even these revelations pale in comparison to what they ultimately uncover. But with the Brotherhood bent on destroying them and everything that the remote site has sheltered for millennia, will humankind ever know the literally earth-shattering secrets of their forefathers? The strength of this novel could also be its biggest weakness—although the Indiana Jones-like action and adventure is undeniably gets the adrenaline flowing, it’s also formulaic and, at times, predictable. But even the predictability can’t stifle the sheer audacity of this storyline; it’s apparent that Cornell had as much fun writing this novel as readers will have experiencing it. Powered by a highly intelligent, meticulously researched and provocative narrative that challenges numerous historical and religious convictions regarding humankind’s past, Cornell’s tale is a breakneck-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller in the vein of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
A page-turner of the highest order.