- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Avon (January 3, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847562892
- ISBN-13: 978-1847562890
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,130,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Jerusalem Puzzle Paperback – June 2, 2015
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Praise for The Istanbul Puzzle:
'A brisk plot…which draws the reader into a conspiratorial rapport.' Telegraph
'This stylish conspiracy thriller is a Turkish delight…combines plenty of stirring action with fascinating historical detail’ Irish Independent
About the Author
Laurence was born in Dublin. He studied business, then IT at Oxford University. After going to England he paid for his own courses and began rising at 4AM so he could study and work at the same time. One early job was as a kitchen porter near the Bank of England cleaning the plates of the well connected. He stayed in squats in London and struggled for years. Laurence was first published by a school newspaper when he was ten, for a short story about aliens getting lost. Thirty-five years later, he attended a authonomy workshop and not long after was offered a publishing contract for three books.The Jerusalem Puzzle is his second novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a single manuscript nearly all but forgotten, which contains the key to the greatest, shocking historical secret of all-time...
Sean Ryan and his girlfriend Isabel Sharp are exploring the ancient, mysterious city of Jerusalem when they find themselves drawn into a dangerous game with deadly consequences. Meanwhile in the same city Doctor Susan Hunter was translating an ancient manuscript, until it suddenly disappears without a trace. Behind Lady Tunshuq's Palace in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem the archeologist Max Kaiser is found dead, with murder on the cards now no one is safe...
The sequel to `the Istanbul puzzle' (shortlisted for the Irish crime novel of the year 2012) continues the story from where it left off, by including the square and arrow symbol (that Sean and Isabel discovered within the Museum of Antiquities), in central Cairo near Tahrir square. Against the backdrop of the many Pharaohs, including notably King Tutankhamun's mask, this beautiful story is something that will delight those who enjoy exploration and adventure. The intriguing, fascinating historical elements are wonderful that combined with exciting action for a rollercoaster of a ride make this a splendid story and page-turner. Complete with photographs and information about Jerusalem this is a book dedicated to the city, its culture and is a testimony of the author's accomplished writing ability for he allows you to glimpse beneath the shiny surface and explore the unexpected!
This confident, convincing strong thriller is an undeniably remarkable piece of great writing, that is perfection itself and which I highly recommend. To find the answers to all the secrets and unravel the riddles one must delve deeper into the complexity of the plot, remicent of the detective /archeologist that is longing to explore and uncover so much. This fantastic book is a must-read and one that I cannot praise highly enough, for it unexpectedly surprised and overwhelmed me!
*I won a copy through a `GoodReads, First-Read' giveaway. I would like to thank the author, as I concider myself to be extremely privileged to have had this opportunity*
It may sound exceptionally unoriginal when I say it hides a secret that will shock the religious community, especially as over the past five years or so, we've been inundated with similar works of fiction that offers the same. However, I've got to admit that The Jerusalem Puzzle does so with ounces of authenticity and a respect for the religions of today. As it is mostly set inside Jerusalem, O'Bryan does a wonderful job at setting the religious and political scene; two religions, Christianity and Islam, living side by side amongst a backdrop of tension and suspicion. It must take a great insight and understanding to portray, and so it becomes so evident of the author's insightful research.
Within the pages, we are reacquainted with Sean Ryan and his girlfriend, Isabel Sharp as they continue the quest to understand and unravel the mysterious manuscript they unearthed in the first book. Flamboyant archaeologist, Max Kaiser, is found burnt to death and so sets of a series of catastrophic and sinister events that draws the pair to the ancient city. Doctor Susan Hunter, who was working and translating on the manuscript, is missing and our protagonists are stuck for ideas. What they do know however, is that it is up to them to play detectives to discover the truth. And just maybe, they may find out more about this manuscript than they bargained for.
As O'Bryan did such a wonderful job at building up both Sean and Isabel's character in the previous novel, we are drawn to them so naturally here. Sean is a great lead character as he knows enough knowledge to get him by, and has undergone a series of stressful past events to make him slightly unpredictable. He's stared death in the face before, and so he isn't afraid to stick his nose in to find out the truth. Isabel is also a great character. She's not afraid to back her man up and never plays second best to Sean; they are almost equally important.
We also get to know more of the evil antagonist here too; Arap Anach is one malicious and possessed bad guy! It's great to be able to get into his psyche here and see things from his point of view. This as a result helps makes him more rounded and well developed. Teamed up with a secretive English lord, we get to see that their plan is well thought out and wonderfully macabre too. It's enticing and addictive reading, and you can't help but read more to find out how far they are willing to go to create a war in Europe. It's interesting, because what O'Bryan does here is create a fictitious scenario, but one based on today's current state of affairs. The political and sociological stance on the ever increasing Islam religion is one that both believable yet daunting.
It's hard to say exactly why without giving away plot arcs, but believe me when I say that the action is always regular and intense. There is a section towards the end of the book where Sean and friends are sat around a camp fire with some Palestinians. They are talking about their situation and what must be done next, when suddenly, when you least except it, O'Bryan writes an action packed surprise. It came out of nowhere! I couldn't believe it, and I had no choice but to keep my bedroom lamp on reading further into the night.
When we do learn more about the manuscript and this religious secret, it serves as a catalyst to read the next book that follows. Whereas the likes of Dan Brown and Raymond Khoury reach a climax in their books, O'Bryan decides to tease you by carrying the puzzle on into subsequent books. It really is a true adventurous series, and you have to wonder what's next for Sean and Isabel.
If you have read my review for The Istanbul Puzzle, you would remember that I found the short sentences and odd structure a little off-putting, but thankfully the writing is much more evolved here. Yes there are still short paragraphs, exceptionally so sometimes, but the writing is more flowing and deserving of the story they tell. The sights and smells of Jerusalem also bring this oddly misunderstood city to life too.
But again, there were times when I found the book a little disappointing. One stand out moment, was when a certain chapter starts, it is written in the present tense and suddenly, abruptly changes midway through to the past tense - and I can't figure out why? I found this confusing and a little pointless. It almost seemed like it was a mistake rather than used for a specific reason. Another point I didn't like, which I must confess first is more personal than anything else, is that one of the characters we are introduced to is Xena. It's an infamous name, remembered to many for portraying a certain warrior princess. It's hard to expel the image of Lucy Lawless when you are reading her. I would have also liked her to get involved in the action a bit more, but sadly I found her character to be quite weak.
It has to be said though that The Jerusalem Puzzle is a tense, action-fuelled roller-coaster ride, especially if you love these historical thrillers. Is has a believable plot, with terrorism and political war overlapping the long-lost manuscript search. The characters are as ordinary as you or I, which is a brilliant thing because it creates ounces of respect for them. You also want them to succeed too, caring what happens to them. You do need to read the first in the Puzzle series to get along better with this, but with supreme intrigue and a conspiratorial rapport hiding in the background, The Jerusalem Puzzle is a clever, well-structured and intimate novel. Now we just have to wait until its sequel, The Manhattan Puzzle, is released later in the year.