Monday, February 10, 2014


There is a curious little two verse passage in the book of 2 Kings, chapter 13, in the midst of the narrative. Verses 20 - 21 read like this: 20. Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year. 21. As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding  band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.
This is a good bit of information for writing a novel plot regarding an archeologist and a rich backer. And that is exactly what Don Hoesel has done. 
After a tragedy on a dig in Egypt, Jack Hawthorne is in the doldrums as to what to do with his life other than teach at a University. It is then that he is contacted by a very rich man who is dying of some unknown disease, and who has already done a lot of research into Elisha's bones and whether they still have power, and where they are. 
Jack takes on the job and his search takes him to Venezuela and then to Australia where he uncovers a secret society that has been the care takers of the bones since they were first discovered and unearthed. 
The deeper Jack digs, the more he is convinced that there is something to this. He becomes a target by assassins when he gets close to the truth, but he is still not sure if he believes in the power of the bones. There is plenty of action and intrigue, but the believability is lacking, even apart from the fact of the bones being able to have resurrection powers. 
At the end of the quest, Jack discovers that it is true, and decides to do something about it.  No spoilers here. 
Some label this novel as Christian Fiction, but I would disagree. Jack does come to a faith in God but it comes by a much too unconventional path and because Christianity is more than belief in God (even the devil believes) and there is no talk of repentance or any kind of relationship with Jesus, this falls short of being Christian literature. One cannot make reference to a few verses in the Bible and then call the story a Christian story. This is more about violence, retribution, and revenge, hardly Christian virtues. 
Having said that, the writing is fast paced and clever in places, but this is not enough to get a good rating with me. Because of the holes in the plot and lack of explanation of certain aspects of the antagonists, I would not highly recommend this book. 
Average 2 1/2 stars.    

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