A WALL IN THE DARKNESS
By: Jon Land
Tom Doherty Associates, New York
The premise of Jon Landís political thriller A
Walk in the Darkness is one that has been utilized by any number of
popular writers: What if
archaeology presented artifactual evidence that put in question the
resurrection of Christ? Some
of the better variations on this theme include Daniel Eastermanís Brotherhood
of the Tomb, Paul Maierís The Skeleton in Godís Closet,
and Piers Paul Readís On the Third Day.
Landís approach to this plot line is well
conceived and while it is not exactly a learned treatise on
archaeological excavation techniques in the Holy Land, it is a
fast-paced thriller with interesting and likeable characters and plenty
of twists and turns. The story begins in 1948 when a group of archaeologists
working in Turkey are slaughtered after unearthing an artifact of
unknown but obviously very great importance.
The action fast-forwards to the present day and another mass
murder of archaeologists, this time in the Judean desert.
The protagonists, Israeli police detective Danielle Barnea and
Palestinian detective Ben Kamal, join forces to solve the tangled web of
intrigue that winds backward in time from the present day powderkek that
is the Middle East to the founding days of the state of Israel to the
day of the crucifixion of a Galilean carpenterís son.
Land introduces terrorist cadres, unscrupulous oilmen, and even
Vatican assassins into the mix, but further stirs the cauldron by
enmeshing the two police detectives in a love affair, a situation not
viewed favorably by even their friends and allies, much less their
Make no mistake.
A Walk in the Darkness is a potboiler, but a well written
one that was perfectly made for a good summer afternoon read at the
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