The Last Testament by Sam Bourne on Amazon.com
Book Description from Amazon.com:
April 2003: an Iraqi boy loots an ancient clay tablet from a long-forgotten vault in the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities.
Years later, at a rally for the signing of a historic deal between Israel and the Palestinians, a suspected assassin pushes through the crowd toward the Israeli prime minister. Bodyguards shoot the man dead. But in his hand there is no gun—only a blood-stained note.
A series of seemingly random revenge killings follows and tensions boil over. Washington calls in star peace-negotiator Maggie Costello. With her relationship in trouble and old sins to atone for, Maggie finds herself in an impossible situation, especially when she discovers the murders are not random. Someone is killing archaeologists and historians—those who know the buried secrets of the ancient past.
Menaced on all sides by violent extremists, Costello is plunged into a mystery rooted in the last unsolved riddle of the Bible. The truth could end hostilities—or spark the war to end all wars.
You know me, I found “The Last Testament” at a bargain book sale but I forget which bookstore it was, a few years ago. I’ve had an interest in Religious Fiction, since my Bachelors Degree is in Religious Studies. Plus, who doesn’t love intrigue, cover-ups, theft, murders deep in a Religious order, irregardless of belief.
Sam Bourne (aka Jonathan Freedland) does a great job fleshing out his characters as well as locations throughout his novel. Interactions, as well as personality characteristics, are believable. However, his Maggie Costello is written as a bit schizophrenic. Is she this powerhouse behind-the-scenes political mediator of bitter rival countries? Or is she this browbeaten housefrau by a controlling boyfriend who won’t commit? Is she as easily cowed by some nefarious secret government society as she is by the boyfriend?
The main thrust of the novel is a secret hidden on a clay tablet found by a young boy by accident, which hold the key to a religious mystery that will unhinge the world if displayed. While many Religious Mysteries are far-fetched, Sam Bourne does a remarkably well job of keeping the suspense/action believable as he does the secret that had been hidden for thousands of years.
I would give “The Last Testament” a good four out of five stars.