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The Last Secret of the Temple Paperback – September 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A bestseller overseas, Sussman's follow-up to The Lost Army of the Cambyses opens at Jerusalem's Holy Temple in the year 70, jumps to doomed WWII German prison camp inmates dragging a Nazi-purloined holy relic down an abandoned coal shaft and then fast-forwards to present-day Egypt. There, Det. Insp. Yusef Ezz el-Din Khalifa of the Luxor police investigates the murder of an old man whose body has been found at an archeological site in the Valley of the Kings. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Palestinian journalist Layla al-Madani and Israeli police detective Arieh Ben-Roi have their own sad histories and complicated lives to deal with. Eventually, Sussman twines all the threads into one, and the three principals are hard on the trail of the mysterious artifact hidden by the prisoners. There are familiar Da Vinci Code elements, but Sussman, an archeologist, puts in plenty of satisfying twists and turns, and grounds the story in the violence and intrigue of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“While Paul Sussman’s brilliant novel, The Last Secret of the Temple, will be compared to Dan Brown’s eight-hundred-pound gorilla, it is so much more. The mystery runs deeper, the history more accurate, the suspense drawn to a keener edge….Here is a thriller on par with the best literature out there.” –James Rollins, author of The Judas Strain

“Not just a tightly plotted, richly observed, thought-provoking thriller, but one with a soul.” –Raymond Khoury, author of The Last Templar

“A brilliant detective novel…Paul Sussman has managed the impossible: a multi-layered quest where all the characters are real and alive, and we should expect the completely unexpected.” –Katherine Neville, author of The Eight

“Another surefire winner from a gifted storyteller.” –Steve Berry, author of The Templar Legacy

The Last Secret of the Temple won’t disappoint….Sussman succeeds on the strength of his intelligence, empathy, and sense of pace…Khalifa…is a fine creation.” –Ross King, The Washington Post

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 555 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802143938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802143938
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on May 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Unlike some people, I enjoyed Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE and heavily admire Brown's plotting ability. I'm not a big fan of most of the DA VINCI knockoffs and imitations that have followed, but Paul Sussman's THE LAST SECRET OF THE TEMPLE is a pretty good one.

THE LAST SECRET OF THE TEMPLE is an adventure novel that deals with a religious secret, one that may impact the struggle for power in the Middle East. Sussman spends a lot of time describing the political and social conflict betweens Jews, Arabs, and Palestinians, and I found this aspect of the novel quite fascinating.

Unlike most novels of this sort, the main character isn't American -- the three major protagonists are instead Egyptian, Israeli, and Palestinian. Sussman takes a lot of time developing all three of these characters, and they are all interesting people to spend time with. If you're curious in hearing all sides of the Middle East conflict, Sussman does a pretty good job fleshing it out for the reader here, although he does get heavy handed at times.

The pace of this novel is rather slow at the beginning, but it speeds up rather quickly by the half-way point. The last hundred pages of the book are pure action, with the inevitable big confrontation at the end. I could have done without some of the silly plot twists at the end, but they don't distract from the overall fun of the story.

Overall, THE LAST SECRET OF THE TEMPLE is a good read with a lot of interesting historical content. It was apparently a huge hit in the UK. I'm surprised this book didn't get better distribution in the US, but it's worthing seeking out if you enjoy thought-provoking thrillers.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale on June 24, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I approached this book with mixed feelings. I had enjoyed Sussman's first book `The Lost Army of Cambyses so much that I thought it would be impossible for him to reach such dizzy heights again. How wrong could I have been. This book is equally as good if not better.

The author has the uncanny ability of being able to draw you into the plot, so that you almost feel as if you, the reader are a character in the book. You can smell the sights and the sounds of Jerusalem, just less than 100 years after the birth of Christ. You can literally hear the sound of the hob nailed marching sandals of the Roman legions as the besiege the Holy Temple.

Your are brought forward in time to Nazi Germany, where prisoners have to drag a mysterious crate deep into a disused mine and are then brutally murdered by their German guards.

The plot then arrives back at the present day. A body is found in the ruins at the Valley of the Kings, in Egypt. On the face of it, it seems to be an open and shut case, but the more that is uncovered about the dead man by Inspector Khalifa the more uneasy he becomes about it.

The Inspectors findings send him on a trail of murder and mahem that could turn the Middle East into a bloodbath.

This is how all murder, mysteries should be written.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Belle du Jour on September 19, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just finished reading this marvellous thriller last night. What a tremendously good work of fiction it is!!! Pulls you in from page 1 and takes you on an exhilarating ride. Mr Sussman is a very, very good writer and he really brings his Middle East setting alive - I almost felt that I was in both Jerusalem and Luxor, Egypt, so evocative was his writing. The plot is extraordinarily good and his three protagonists well drawn. We have the gruff Israeli policeman, the by-the-book Egyptian detective and the crusading Arab journalist. Their quest to find the original Menorah from the Temple of Solomon before it falls into the hands of terrorists really comes alive and the plot twist at the end took my breath away. I did NOT see that coming!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough for lovers of the thriller genre. It is far superior to the Da Vinci Code. Blows it out of the water, in fact.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Tomko on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I liked a lot about this book but the author uses a series of very unbelieveable coincidences to move the plot forward. It gets old. The author is very capable of doing a lot of research and the locations are finely drawn. If only he used as much energy on creating a more credible plot line, the book would be much better. The comparison to Brown is poor - he let the characters figure out the answer to the problem. Sussman allows his characters to blindly bump into the the next part of the puzzle or be led by some unseen intuition to happen to be at the right place at the right time. And the twist at the end, while not completely unexpected, contradicts the portrait he spends many, many pages building throughout the book.

I like books that are based on history and involve archeology so I wanted to like this book. And it did hold my interest but as the story unfolds you start to realize that it just contains way too many coincidences to be considered a really well-crafted book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Olson VINE VOICE on October 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A Wonderful read, 5+ stars. The best so far of the Da Vinci-esque type books. Mr. Sussman has done his homework and written a masterpiece. The only slight fault that might put a reader off is the slow beginning as he builds a solid foundation on which to write an amazing story. Mr. Sussman is a master story teller and his The Last Secret of the Temple is simply a terrific story. Filled with fact and fiction, he blends it all together to keep the reader involved at all levels. The story is complex on several levels but Mr. Sussman is able to keep the reader engaged throughout this tale. Best of all, Mr. Sussman has a wonderful ending. Unlike most Da Vinci Code type books that have uncertain or weak endings, this book is powerful at the end. It actually closes the deal and makes the reader happy to have read it. Magnificent.
The story is rather complex but in essence deals with a lost Jewish relic during the Roman sacking of the Second Holy Temple of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD. I won't tell you the relic as that is key to the story and suspense but needless to say it is an amazing winding tale. Flash to the turmoils of the modern day Middle East and be prepared for a rollicking ride of suspense, as a murder mystery opens the door to the past and the present.
This is one of the best reads in years that has true character development. Mr. Sussman fleshes out his characters in a dynamic way that is not only interesting but pleasing as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the character interaction. Not always pleasant but life is not always happy either. As I have spent some time in the Middle East I can tell you the characters are very realistic. Another superb point is that Mr. Sussman includes a very good 14 page glossary at the end of the book.
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