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Hunting the King Hardcover – April 1, 2008

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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From Booklist

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Kunati Inc.; 1 edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601641486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601641489
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,579,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In 2008 my debut novel HUNTING THE KING was published to great reviews. I had been writing for many years and so was thrilled by finally seeing my work in print. In the five years since that debut, I have written six more novels and a screenplay. I have three wonderful kids.William and Stephen are identical twins age fourteen. Leah is my sixteen-year-old high school junior. It is for her that I turned to writing young adult novels for the last three efforts. THE HUNTED came out in April and in August 2013 DEVOLUTION is being published by Imajin Books. I am also working with my French agent Anne Confuron to get into the European market. I am originally from Portland, Maine and went to college at Bowdoin,came down to Boston upon graduation and drifted into social services work. I have been involved with local politics, particularly on housing issues and currently work for a non-profit in Lowell, Ma. trying to help people who are facing eviction or utility shut-off. To relax, being a loyal New Englander, I enjoy the Red Sox, Patriots and other local sports teams. I am looking for a political candidate to believe in (good luck there)and write not only to entertain but to communicate ideas. I hope to provoke.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Tirrell on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Careful! This one takes you by the neck, drags you to the edge, and throws you over.
Featuring a plot with more twists and turns than a Vermont ski trail, Hunting the King is an all-out race to be first to discover the grave of Jesus, who not only rose from the dead after being crucified (the Easter Resurrection) but might actually have thrived for many years afterward, raised a family, and spent his time working to spread the word of God.

...except we don't actually know all this as fact, and as we follow the opposing forces - one seeking to prevent the infidel Christians from claiming the burial site, and Molly Dwyer and her team who are seeking it for precisely that reason, it's not hard to see the reason in the views of both sides. If this is not enough plot for you, Archaeologist Dwyer has her own demons to fight - dreams in which she finds herself alive during those turbulent years, living as the daughter of Jesus. Could it be she's a reincarnation of Hannaniah? She has the red hair, the eye color. Treachery and double dealing combine with shadowy mysticism as others who share the dream begin to find their way to her side. No one can be trusted. No matter which side prevails, the discovery will be huge, world-changing, and everyone knows it.

It's a lot of story to have on just one stage, but Clenott does an amazing job of reining in the half-dozen story lines, always moving things forward, drawing his cast ever closer to the final moments, and at the same time managing to keep the lid on the actual details of the burial site until just the right moment. It's a masterful job from a writer of genuine ability.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the joys of reading 'first novels' is the pleasure of discovering a mature writer who is able to construct a book with a strong idea, a solid cast of varied and wholly credible characters, and the ability to pull it all together with elegant writing. Peter Clenott seems to have the qualities that define a writer of class - a rich imagination, a commitment to research, a facile way with words, a sense of the arc of a story line that is as smooth throughout the curve, and a style that manages to make a complex story very easy to follow.

Mysteries about the origins of Christianity have been a popular topic for the past decade or so - was Jesus crucified until dead and did he rise from the dead and in resurrection ascend into heaven, or was there more to his important life than tradition and the Church would have us believe - questions that to some casual reader of a book jacket may sound heretical but to others who love historical investigation open new paths of exploring, and even enhancing, our belief systems. Clenott writes with authority and yet with a profound respect for all religions as he traces a mixed group of archeologists, clerics, historians, politicians, Intelligence experts, and military personnel from varied countries in a search for the possible remains of a buried Jesus and his 'earthly family' - all from insights provided by the Book of Hannaniah (the daughter of Jesus and Mary Magdalen) excluded from the Bible. His cast is lead by a fascinating Dr. Molly O'Dwyer who is convinced through her sessions of 'Regression therapy' by a Catholic priest turned professor that she has inhabited the character of Hannaiah and is obsessed with discovering the burial site of Hannaiah and possibly even the grave of Jesus.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Donelson on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Peter Clenott has written a Da Vinci Code for the discerning reader. There's plenty of suspense, action, and more than a few plot twists, but this tale of religious intrigue is a lot less dense and convoluted. To put it another way, I felt Dan Brown stuffed Da Vinci with a little too much padding--Clenott gives you the essential good stuff without any fluff.

The heroine of the piece is Molly O'Dwyer, an American archaeologist who discovers a long-lost burial mound in ancient Babylon on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq. What's particularly refreshing about her is that Molly is a fully-developed character with completely believable personal problems and beliefs that affect her reactions to the situation in which she finds herself. The story hinges on her efforts to discover whose remains are in the tomb and how it relates to the mysterious Gospel of Hannaniah, which is the story of the alleged daughter of Jesus. Since her discovery can undercut the foundations of the church and leave billions of believers with no basis for their faith, Molly's got her work cut out for her.

No tale of international religious intrigue would be complete without a cast of spies, slightly mad scientists, and secretly evil church hierarchy and Clenott doesn't disappoint in that department. To it he adds a setting that couldn't be more contemporary--the Middle East about to plunge into war--and an intriguing plot that holds you through the final riveting revelations.

Hunting The King is an intellectual thriller with overtones of a historical novel and enough action and intrigue to please even the most discerning fan of the genre.
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