Review: The Moses Stone – James Becker

Series: Chris Bronson 2

My version: Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Action and adventure, Biblical
Bantam Books
First published: 2009
ISBN: 9780553819731
Pages: 480

From the cover:
An ancient code
A clay tablet covered in ancient writing is found by an English couple in Morocco. A day later they are dead, killed in a car crash. But where is the relic they died to protect?
A sinister secret
Determined to uncover a secret that’s endured for two millennia, Chris Bronson follows a trail of clues that lead him from the hustle of a Moroccan souk to the deserted caves of Qumran; from the sinister echoes of a water-filled tunnel under the city of Jerusalem to a windswept fortress whose name spells death.
A deadly chase for the truth…
Threatened on every side by violent extremists, Bronson is plunged into a mystery rooted in biblical times. For the stone he must find is older and far more dangerous than he could ever have imagined… 

I’m sure that the ‘Moses’, linked to the word ‘stone’, gives you a fair clue as to what this one is about.

Unfortunately, this is another one that begins well enough, but which could have been much better. Becker decides to slip into an already well-worn formula, even though the other one of his I read previously ‘The First Apostle’, I remember as being really quite good. Makes you wonder if his publisher asked him if he had a ‘Me Too’ historical/religious artefact thriller lying about and Becker rush finished this one and they pumped it out.

What really irritated me, is something that happens in many of this type of book. It is the ‘technique’ of having the characters explain to each other, at great length, the historical or technical information, the author feels the reader needs next, to understand the novel or the next development in the story. Having the information conveyed by a character, rather than the author just putting the necessary information into the narrative, always makes me wonder how lucky our plucky hero is, to stumble across the leading experts in their various fields with total recal and photographic memories. And it annoys the whathaveyou out of me. ‘The Moses Stome’ does it at nearly every turn. It’s not alone in doing this, as I’ve said, but it really got to me before the end of the story.

I may have to think twice before reading another of his.

You can buy The Moses Stone from The Book Depository

Photo by Ignacio Ceballos on Unsplash

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