Category Archives: Adventure

A Review of The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes

The Sacred Bones
The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Authors/Publishers Book Description/Synopsis

Fast-paced and intelligent, blending historical fact with persuasive fiction, The Sacred Bones is an addictively compelling thriller that calls into question many of modern religion’s most deeply held beliefs. Jerusalem is a ticking time bomb …An ancient artefact is stolen from beneath Temple Mount. With thirteen Israeli soldiers dead, and the Palestinians outraged over the desecration of the sacred ground, tensions are running high. Detectives must work against the clock to identify the stolen relic and the thieves, before civil unrest escalates to deadly proportions. Meanwhile, in Vatican city, American scientist Charlotte Hennesey and Italian anthropologist Giovanni Bersei have been secretly summoned to analyse a mysterious artefact, that could prove to be history’s darkest secret: a human skeleton, approximately 2,000 years old, and bearing the unmistakable marks of crucifixion …With the malevolent eye of Vatican security expert Salvatore Conte watching her every move, Charlotte must work against the clock to uncover an astonishing truth that threatens the very foundations of belief. And there’s a more immediate question to face: whether the Vatican will allow this information – and Charlotte – to see the light of day
Michael Byrnes is the founder and C.E.O. of a highly successful multi-million dollar insurance brokerage firm. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. The Sacred Bones is his first novel

What Do I Think?

In the past 15 years I have read a number of books which includes something historical and are bursting with conspiracy theories, it follows that a hero enters who discovers the truth.
I must say that I have grown quite fond of the better written books and have taken to the genre, regardless of some book lovers doubts.
Yet, out of the many books of this type I have read, I would rate “Sacred Bones” 4 stars on equal footing with Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons“.
The plot is a more involved than is customary in this genre this may discourage some readers, but believe me it is well worth reading as the storyline presents an intriguing (if a little fictional) glance into the contradictory cultures of Christianity and Islam in Jerusalem.

I found the plot to be suspenseful, fast-moving, and Michael Byrne’s approach story-weaving is superb, his characters are lifelike and I can see this story being made into a fantastic Hollywood blockbuster
The book’s ending is not definite, the question of the uniqueness of the occupier of the Vatican’s ossuary is not decisively revealed, even if strongly hinted at and questions linger as to what to do with a sample of the bones DNA, which has strong healing powers.
Here the plot for a sequel is mapped out and I can’t wait to read the next book in the sequence

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Review: Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler with Dirk Cussler

Cover of "Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Advent...

Cover of Crescent Dawn (Dirk Pitt Adventure)

Crescent Dawn
Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler with Dirk Cussler SATURDAY, 06 AUGUST 2011

I can’t remember when I started to read the novels by Clive Cussler probably sometime in the late 70’s early 80’s and more than likely when I was on my holidays.
I really enjoy a good adventure story and when combined with archaeology and the ancient world they are even better and when Clive Cussler brought us his popular hero Dirk Pitt I was hooked.

The latest in a long line of his stories that I have read is “Crescent Dawn” first I have to say that I am not fond of collaborations between authors, unless they have series stories from the start I sometimes think that joining together in a later book just does not work.

With “Crescent Dawn” it was the first of the Dirk Pitt stories I have read that was written with someone else as a consequence I believe that it didn’t work, I did read the book from start to finish, however I just couldn’t find the pace and excitement of other Dirk Pitt adventures.

What is the book about?
Dirk Pitt returns in the extraordinary new novel from the number one bestselling author. In A.D. 327, a Roman galley with an extraordinary cargo barely escapes a pirate attack. In 1916, a British warship mysteriously explodes in the middle of the North Sea. In the present day, a cluster of important mosques in Turkey and Egypt are wracked by explosions. What ties them all together? NUMA director Dirk Pitt and his team are about to find out, as Roman artefacts discovered in Turkey and Israel unnervingly connect to the rise of a fundamentalist movement determined to restore the glory of the Ottoman Empire. From Washington to London to the treacherous shores of the Near East, dangerous men and desperate acts fill their path, and at the end of it, the most dangerous thing of all: the rumoured existence of a mysterious ‘manifest’, lost long ago, which if discovered again …just might change the history of the world as we know it.

I can’t say I didn’t like the book, I did, it’s just that it wasn’t what I was used to the usual cast were as ever very good however I did find that Dirk, Jr. and his sister Summer came across as second class imitations of their father it maybe that in future stories they mature into more of their own personas.
I also found that some of the geographical research was flawed, I live in London overlooking the Thames and The MI6 Building, I regularly cross Lambeth Bridge to visit St. Thomas’ hospital passing by Lambeth Palace so when we are told that Buckingham Palace can be seen across the river from Lambeth Palace it does disappoint me The Houses of Parliament that can be seen, Buckingham Palace is not by the river!
So after seeing such mistakes as that I was and still am a little wary of the research done for this and future books.

I can only give this story 2 stars it was ok, I did like it as a boy’s own adventure but maybe I’m losing my boyishness?
I will find out when I read the next Clive Cussler Yarn which is on my list.

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Review: Kydd by Julian Stockwin

Cover of "Kydd"

Cover of Kydd

Kydd by Julian Stockwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kydd by Julian Stockwin

I came late to the books of Julian Stockwin and that I started to read his stories is because being disabled and not always able to get out myself, Maureen was the one who saw “Conquest” the quick choice shelf at Pimlico library and knowing how much I am partial to yarns of this sort she had no worries in getting it for me, in any case I read this novel and was instantly captivated by the escapades of Thomas Kydd and Nicholas Renzi.
I read two more books that was out of sequence these were “Treachery” and “The Admiral’s Daughter”, I made a determined effort to start again at the beginning of the series of books and so we now start with;

Thomas Paine Kydd is press-ganged in Guildford, and is wrenched from his safe profession of wig making to join the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William. We have been treated to the horrors of the below-deck life of the common seaman before, but Stockwin renders these scenes as exuberantly as any of his predecessors. He is also particularly good at delineating the changing character of his hero, as Kydd comes to admire the skills of the seamen and (of course) becomes a true sailor himself. Although, at times, the book has the feel of the setting up of a new series, it’s none the worse for that. Stockwin can command your attention with ease when his writing has such unyielding power as:

This the first book in a series of stories about Thomas Kydd and his friend Nicholas Renzi, and I liked it I now know who, what, why and where these two met and as this is another rollicking good yarn from one of my favourite story weavers of true boy’s own adventures I was well pleased.
I really appreciated the meticulous background knowledge that Julian Stockwin gives of life at sea at the time of the Napoleonic wars and found myself transported back to the era that made the Royal Navy under the command of great seagoing heroes like Nelson great.
This story follows the life of Thomas Kydd who is against his will pressed into naval service, a much more ruthless world in contrast to his life ashore as a wig maker.

At times I did find myself paying a visit to the dictionary or the laptop to translate some of the naval slang and jargon along with some 18th century wording, but I didn’t mind that as Julian wants us to be immersed into that era for a more complete adventure (I think).

As I have already read some of this series I recommend this book I believe that Julian Stockwin is an instinctive teller of tales and, with Thomas Kydd and the captivating intrigues he is a man with a stunning imagination and just as unfalteringly his research is truthful and matchless.

I can’t recommend the stories of Thomas Kydd by Julian Stockwin highly enough.

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