by Jay Amberg
on Tour November 1-30, 2015
On a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea in Turkey, an international team of archeologists discovers a stone box that first-century Jews used to rebury their dead. The box’s Aramaic inscription: Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. Sophia Altay, the beautiful French-Turkish archeologist who heads the team, tries to keep the discovery secret until she can authenticate the ossuary. She knows that people will kill to obtain the relics—and to suppress the box’s other contents, documents that could alter Western history.
Joseph Travers, an American sent to Turkey to evaluate the archeological dig, soon finds himself pulled into the web of betrayal, reprisal, and violence. In his journey through Istanbul’s mosques and palaces, the archeological sites around ancient Ephesus, and, ultimately, the strange and mystical terrain of Cappadocia, he comes to understand the epochal meaning of the bone box.
Genre: Archaeological Thriller/MysteryPublished by: Amika Press
Publication Date: March 14, 2015
Number of Pages: 256
Reviews:Award-Winning Finalist, Thriller, 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Award Contest
Award-Winning Finalist, Thriller, 2015 National Indie Excellence Awards
Award-Winning Finalist, Thriller/Adventure, 2015 International Book Awards
“A…well-written, fast-paced thriller that follows in the footsteps of The Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This story takes you on an incredible and dusty journey from Istanbul to ancient Ephesus, Izmir, and Cappadocia, blended with Christianity, archaeology and Islam, described with accurate detail to bring the story alive.…Jay Amberg is a master of description and intrigue…the plot and characters are believable and interesting.…keeps you guessing through each and every chapter. A cross between The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) and The Sign of the Cross (Chris Kuzneski) this is an “un-put-downable” book of the highest quality.” —Julie Hodgson, Readers’ Favorite
“A mystery of biblical proportions right down to the very last page. As the story unfolds, the characters’ histories, weaknesses, and ambitions are brought to light through their interactions with one another: the lies they tell, the crimes they are willing to commit, and the truths they are willing to confide only to the right person at the right time. And yet, as Joseph and Abrahim put themselves in harm’s way to protect what has become so precious to them, we wonder: What truths are some people willing to die for?” —Ruth Duran-Chea, San Francisco Book Review
“A reflective thriller that will leave you catching your breath while illuminating your own sense of connection with our shared past.” —Michele Fitzpatrick, Author, The Women’s Center
“The lingering questions of what’s real and what isn’t keeps the reader invested in the story. It’s not just the mystery about what’s inside the ossuary and if the artifacts are authentic.…Politics, religion, sexuality, culture, deceit, greed, and prejudices turn this thriller into a page-turner. There’s a need to find out what will happen with the bones and letters, but there’s also a desire to know what will happen to the characters.…The stories within the story demand attention and remind us that one event can be perceived rightly or wrongly from several perspectives.” —T.B. Markinson, Self-Publishing Review
“Will mystify, entrance, enthrall and captivate readers.” —Fran Lewis, Just Reviews
Praise for Jay Amberg’s novels“Jay Amberg takes his place among the elite of this country’s suspense-adventure authors.” —Clive Cussler, for Deep Gold
“A taut thriller that will…elate readers. Brilliant.” —Midwest Book Review, for Blackbird Singing
“The final recovery scenes in the face of a raging hurricane deliver true high seas drama.” —Publishers Weekly, for Doubloon
“An inspiring call to action…” —Kirkus Reviews, for Cycle
My review: This is an enthralling story, along the same vein as Dan Brown's novels. I am always fascinated by stories which involve religious relics, whether real or fictional. This one includes so many conflicts that you might think it would be tough to follow, but that doesn't happen at all. You have cultural conflicts, conflicts between religion and archeology, conflicts between individuals, etc.
The chapters are generally short and easy to read, which offers the reader a chance to take a breath between scenes and not get swallowed up in long detailed descriptions. The main characters are never sure who to trust or what their next move should be, which keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The story is creative, one of a kind, and well worth reading.
My rating: Four stars
Read an excerpt:
Jay Amberg is the author of eleven books. He received a BA from Georgetown University and a PhD from Northwestern University. He has taught high school and college students since 1972.
His latest book, Bone Box, is now available from Amika Press. Amberg has also published Cycle, America’s Fool, Whale Song, and compiled 52 Poems for Men.
Prior to Amika Press, Amberg published thriller novels Doubloon (Forge), Blackbird Singing (Forge) and Deep Gold (Warner Books).
Among his books on teaching are School Smarts and The Study Skills Handbook, published by Good Year. Amberg wrote The Creative Writing Handbook (Good Year) with Mark Henry Larson and Verbal Review and Workbook for the SAT (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) with Robert S Boone.