From the publisher:

The world’s most sacred and mysterious object and a race for survival… The brilliant new thriller from global bestseller James Becker
In Ethiopia, Charles Bronson and Angela Lewis are on the hunt for the Ark of the Covenant. But it looks like their luck is running out. Until, that is, a new avenue springs open in Southern France.

Meanwhile the Vatican is getting worried. Their best people are tracking the Ark, but so are a mysterious group operating from Jerusalem. Both are prepared to use deadly force.

As the net closes in around the most powerful artefact in history and the greatest mystery, it’s also tightening around Bronson and Lewis. They’ll need all their smarts to escape this time…

A deadly cat and mouse game through a world of history and myth, perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Chris Kuzneski and Scott Mariani.

Charles Bronson and his ex-wife Angela Lewis are traveling and working together on a quest sanctioned by Angela’s employer to find the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail is thought to be the cup that Jesus drank from at the last supper and was then used to collect his blood after the crucifixion. The pair begin their search in Ethiopia but through clues and judicious thought travel through Europe and North America.

Also, after the Grail and consequently enemies of the pair, are a group from the Vatican and another from Jerusalem. Now why did all these people suddenly begin a search together that has a history grounded in centuries of investigation? This question is not addressed in this novel, hmmm.

A favorite topic of the author, the Knights Templars, a group dissolved by the Church hundreds of years ago also figures in this novel. The plot is one that would take its place with books such as Raiders of the Lost Ark. The reason that I believe it does not is the depiction of how the search evolves with the couple. When faced with the need for a continuance of the search by facing a dead-end, either Angela or Charles comes up with a Latin discussion of the original hiding of the Chalice.

After centuries have passed the couple somehow finds the correct meaning and continues forward to the next step. They are of course followed by both sets of bad guys and need to thwart their evil intents.

The novel is filled with incredible solutions one after the other. It is also replete with the attempts by the villains to allow Charles and Angela to find the grail for them and then kill the couple and run off with the treasure. A good plot is spoiled with an overabundance of conversations and miraculous analysis plus the rather silly actions of two sets of bad guys.

Becker has an afterward of the book in which he outlines the finding of pertinent facts by searches done in the past. This does make the novel somewhat of a history book. The use of countless “eureka” moments in the novel, however, does mitigate the validity of what is found, makes for a boring experience, and ending in no real interest in getting future books by the author.

10/2020 Paul Lane

THE LAST SECRET OF THE ARK by James Becker. Canelo Action (September 17, 2020). ISBN: 978-1800320277. 306 pages.







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