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The Godless Man: A Mystery of Alexander the Great Hardcover – July 10, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After his mighty victory at the Granicus in 334 B.C., Alexander the Great sweeps deeper into Persia in this multilayered and entertaining mystery, but when his army captures the city of Ephesus, the march of conquest seems doomed to halt in the face of intrigue and multiple murders. A shadowy assassin known only as the Centaur lurks behind the brutal crimes, and the young warlord commands his personal physician, Telamon, to uncover the identity of the killer and investigate some deep puzzles. In this second appearance after 2001's The House of Death, the good doctor, aided by Cassandra, his Celtic Maid Watson, must solve a mass murder committed within the securely locked doors of the Temple of Hercules. With a bravura flourish typical of his recent novels, Doherty includes a second locked-room murder as well as the killing of a politically connected courtesan and the death of the old soldier Leonidas, found floating in an ornamental pool in the gloomy mansion known as the House of Medusa. All the crimes are deftly presented and resolved, though Telamon and Cassandra have yet to leap from the page as living characters, and the mincing royal magician, Aristander, remains a painful presence. Details of the political moment in that age of myth and the battleground action compensate for these lapses. Doherty, a proven master of this form, has fertile territory lying ahead for this series.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

After the Battle of the Granicus, in which Alexander defeated the Persian armies, several murders in Ephesus threaten to delay Alexander's "clean up" of his enemies. His friend and doctor, Telamon, takes charge of the investigation, with help from the Master of Secrets. Intense, satisfying historical fiction from the author of The Mask of Ra and The House of Death.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Mystery of Alexander the Great (Carroll & Graf)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st Carroll & Graf ed edition (July 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786709952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786709953
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,459,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Billy J. Hobbs VINE VOICE on October 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Paul Doherty (or P.C. Doherty, or Paul Harding, or Michael Clynes, or Anna Apostolou, etc., take your pick) usually writes of medieval England. His Brother Athelstan series, his Sir Roger Shallot series, his Canterbury Tales series, and his Hugh Corbett series are all riveting accounts of Merry Olde told with great interest and authority on the time and place. Doherty, certainly a learned man in his own "write," is well documented. His Egyptian series and now his Alexander the Great works probably only show how erudite he is!
"The Godless Man," the second of the Alexander the Great tomes, seems to lack not only the enthusiasm but the documentation Doherty usually provides to become really thorough. Granted, this is a work of fiction and authors do not have to be historically accurate or even convincing, for, after all, it's the storyline that primarily counts, not incidental elements.
Taking on Alexander the Great is a more daunting task that concentrating on one of Chaucer's pilgrims! Of course, "The Godless Man" is not really about Alexander; instead, it is the story of Telamon, who is The Great's physician. Assisted ably by Cassandra, Telemon must solve the puzzle of a mass murder in the Temple of Hercules in the newly occupied city of Ephesus. And such a quandry, as the denizens of that capital city are not too keen to help the occupying force, concerned with their own immediate problems. They've seen occupying armies come and go and they suspect that the Macedonians won't hang around either!
But Alexander is insistent that these murders (and subsequent ones to keep the plot suspenseful) be solved, for it reflects directly upon him and his abilities to occupy a conquered city.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. K. Shirley on September 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. But, if you're looking for a story specifically about Alexander the Great...this isn't it. The story revolves mostly around his physician and his ability to use his extraordinary sense of observation to put clues together and collect information for the King. At first, when starting the book, I was a little disappointed that Alexander wasn't the focal point of the story. He almost becomes an after-thought in the scheme of things. But, the further you get into the story, the more you become ensconced in the mystery and can't wait to turn the page and get more clues. Dispite the fact that the title is a tad misleading, it's still an excellent read. I enjoyed it a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Bear on August 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are actually three mysteries in this novel. The first is who killed the men inside the temple locked from the inside? The second is who killed the old man who hid the gold? And the final is who is the Persian spy, known as the Centaur?
The first mystery is handled admirably: all the clues are there, and it's one of the more clever locked-room mysteries I've come across in the last few years.
The second mystery is handled nearly as well, though some jumps of reasoning are necessary.
The third mystery, however, disappointed me. I felt there wasn't enough information given up front to solve the mystery. There was some information about the guilty party that seemed to come out only when the detective, Telamon, was giving his solution.
Still, two out of three ain't bad. The characters are well drawn, especially Alexander, and the war scenes are well thought out and written. Much better than the previous Alexander mystery by Mr. Doherty, which did not play fair with the clues. Thanks to this book, I'm looking forward to his next one.
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Format: Hardcover
After his great victory at Granicus, Alexander rests at Ephesus, a large Greek city of Asia Minor. Yet, although he has achieved victory in a battle, Persia remains strong and its fortress city of Miletus seems impregnable--and essential to Alexander's hopes for continued conquest. Worse, Ephesus, like many Greek cities, is torn between parties who use every opportunity to make war on one another. Persia's spymaster is using this civil war to keep Ephesus in turmoil, and to threaten Alexander's word, his life, and his hopes for the future.
Alexander turns to his physician, Telamon, to discover the true explanation of a classic closed door mystery--the murder of a group of Oligachs within the sealed walls of the Temple of Hercules--after Alexander had given his word that they would be safe. The Persians attempt to destroy the myth of Alexander before they kill the man, and Telamon resolves to find the true spies within the city. With a little help from his beautiful Celtic assistant, Cassandra, and less help from Alexander's spymaster, Aristander, but with a lot of the logic he gained from studying under Aristotle, Telamon peels away at the veils of secrecy that pervade so much of Ephesus.
Author Paul Doherty writes convincingly and compellingly of Alexander's conquest. Badly outnumbered, deep in the enemies territory, Alexander has enough problems from the Persians, yet his Greek 'allies' can be even more dangerous. Doherty's Alexander is powerfully, yet humanly drawn--with all of the arrogance you'd expect in a man who intends to conquer the world, yet with the keen intelligence of the man who, in all history, came closest to doing just that. Telamon, too, is a believable, yet admirable character. The slowly evolving relationship between Telamon and Cassandra adds just a hint of spice to a well-served mystery.
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