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The Topkapi Secret Hardcover – September 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Kelhawk's debut thriller fails to do justice to its intriguing premise--that the text of the Topkapi Codex, a Koran manuscript kept in Istanbul's legendary Topkapi museum, may vary significantly from that of the modern Koran. The codex serves largely as a McGuffin, taking a backseat to the adventures and misadventures of the two dull leads. Angela Hall, an English lit professor at Berkeley, ends up in Ramallah, on the West Bank, where she encounters Mohammed Atareek, who's determined to get access to the codex, despite the museum's denial of his requests. Kelhawk, the pseudonym of an expert on Islam, doesn't always smoothly integrate factual information into the narrative. The cartoonish showdown with the bad guys in a tannery undercuts any efforts to take the codex plot line seriously.
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"Meticulously researched, this richly textured debut novel will capture your imagination from the beginning, pull you into the intrigue and adventure and never let go. An extensive cast of characters complements the story’s intricate details, including origins of the Koran."
—RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars ("FANTASTIC—keeper")
"In The Topkapi Secret, Terry Kelhawk gives us the gift of a gripping adventure with electric tension crackling from almost every page. However, it also shines a laser beam of clarity onto the ancient religions and rituals, reinforced by traditional texts that fuel the furies of fanatics and fiends. Watch as Kelhawk shows destiny unfolding and history being shaped."
—Rabbi Daniel Lapin, co-chair of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians
"The Topkapi Secret is an exciting and captivating novel that takes the reader on a thrilling ride through mystery and intrigue set in multiple cities across the Middle East. This is a book that you will be hard-pressed to put down."
—Michael Levine, renowned Hollywood publicist and bestselling author
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Top customer reviews
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Now after hearing Mohammed's story Angela is intrigued! To Mohammed's credit he does warn Angela that everyone who is looking for the Koran are devious and mean....meaning that they willkill for "this!" Angela being a woman of strength takes the challenge! What does she have to lose!?!
The message of this suspenseful thriller is the debate over whether God truly spoke these words from the modern Koran to Mohammed or is there another book from the seventeenth century that are the "true" words.
The read was exciting and when the storyline focused on finding the Koran it was simply exhilarating but when the story focused on the trip and all that the trip entailed it lost a lot of its potency.
This was one.of.those.most.exciting reads! I made the mistake of just reading the first page! Couldn't put the book down!
If you enjoy learning about history with espionage and adventure thrown in then you'll enjoy this book because Terry Kelhawk has done a superb job of research and then "telling" it in story form! FANTASTIC 5 star read!
*Please note that there is "a scene" at the beginning of the book that is pertinent for the story but not for the squeamish or young eyes.
*I reviewed this book for Glass Road Public Relations*
If you are a fan of suspense you will not be disappointed in the least. The Topkapi Secret starts out with a murder and the intrigue continues from that point on and doesn't let up. The characters were in a race across the Middle East and Europe, I was always wondering what was going to happen next. In fact, I was on the edge of my seat for most of the story! While mostly serious, there were a few moments of comic relief where I could catch my breath.
The characters of Mohammed and Angela weren't the most dynamic but it was interesting to read a story where two cultures, American and Middle Eastern collided. And while I'm a fan of romance I must say it almost detracted from the story that. The rather silly ending prevented me from giving this book five stars but it's definitely a four star book and I'd like to read what Terry comes out with next.
Most recent customer reviews
This excellent, fast-paced, page-turner questions the authenticity of the texts from which the Koran...Read more
I sat down and tried to read this book on multiple occasions.Read more