Monday Book Review: “the Constantine Codex’ by Paul L. Maier


The Constantine Codex (Skeleton Series)

http://www.amazon.com/Constantine-Codex-Skeleton-ebook/dp/B0051CC7HG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1315838807&sr=8-3

Per Amazon, This is book 3 of 3 in A Skeleton In God’s Closet Series. It is preceeded by More Than a Skeleton and  A Skeleton in God’s Closet.

Having read a ton of books over my life, there are different levels or formats of writing.  There is low-brow, high-brow and the like.  This falls somewhere in the middle, as Dr. Maier has a Ph.D. and the writing is simple if not clunky. I imagine his editors, publishers, agents asked him to write a lower standard of English.  It’s not that it takes away from the reading, it’s that it’s noticeable, especially for a Doctor.

For the plot, from Amazon:

Harvard Professor Jonathan Weber is finally enjoying a season of peace when a shocking discovery thrusts him into the national spotlight once again. While touring monasteries in Greece, Jon and his wife Shannon—a seasoned archaeologist—uncover an ancient biblical manuscript containing the lost ending of Mark and an additional book of the Bible. If proven authentic, the codex could forever change the way the world views the holy Word of God. As Jon and Shannon work to validate their find, it soon becomes clear that there are powerful forces who don’t want the codex to go public. When it’s stolen en route to America, Jon and Shannon are swept into a deadly race to find the manuscript and confirm its authenticity before it’s lost forever.

My take:

Ingenious plot, if not a bit fantastical, but ‘lost books of the bible’ fictional accounts are.  You have to suspend a bit of belief, as I do whenever I read a similar story, and let yourself go in the story, the people and the places.

Paul does a great job creating characters and places.  You feel that the Drs. Weber could be actual professors but their reaction to the fatwa aren’t as ‘worried’ as they should be.  He has death threats against him and he just feels a bit too blase.  Maybe that’s discussed in the earlier two books, having not read them, I can only conclude what is presented in “The Constantine Codex”.

The villains are a bit too cartoonish, as villains go. Working behind the scenes, creating disharmony and discord is a bit much.  Paul’s presentation of Islam and Muslim beliefs, nations and characters are handled with care and it just fits in the plot.

Overall, the book is enjoyable, a great weekend read and the visuals he creates of the middle east are fantastic.

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