From Publishers Weekly
On the eve of the Iraq invasion, American archeologist Molly O'Dwyer, who has for years undertaken digs throughout the Middle East, seeks what she believes will be evidence that Christ not only survived the Crucifixion but afterward moved, with wife and children, to Mesopotamia. A practicing Catholic, Molly realizes how much this will put not only her faith but the faith of millions to the test. Meanwhile, others-Iraqis, Israelis, the U.S. government, the Vatican-are also closing in on the site where Molly suspects the proof will be found. Clenott's book speeds by so fast that the reader only fully notices afterward how ill-defined are its characters, how flat its dialogue, how unlikely its plot. This one-dimensional novel had potential, but in maintaining such a relentless pace, the author repeatedly fails to stop long enough to take full, or even partial, advantage of his material.
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On the eve of the American assault on Iraq, a startling discovery comes to light: the possible burial location of the family of Jesus Christ—potential proof that Christ produced offspring. American archaeologist Molly O’Dwyer believes she can find the site, but she has many rivals, including a Muslim who sees the site as the salvation of his own country, a ruthless fellow archaeologist, and Saddam Hussein’s former chief of intelligence. This is a very readable thriller, with a large cast that only occasionally threatens to bog the story down. Clenott takes a risk, setting the tale in Iraq during the American invasion but focusing not on the conflict itself but on a story that exists outside of it. And, yet, he does a fine job of making his readers feel the violence of the invasion without overwhelming us with it: the war is always there, in the background, but it never takes our interest away from the Da Vinci Code–like draw of this compelling variation on the familiar theme of a lost artifact that could change the world. --David Pitt
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