The Last Secret of the Temple

Published December 1, 2012 by myliteraryleanings

the last secret of the temple coverReview of The Last Secret of the Temple by Paul Sussman

Overview from In the year 70 AD, as the Romans sacked and destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, a young Jewish boy was hidden away and chosen as the guardian of a great secret. For seventy generations this secret remained safeguarded. But in present day Israel, a Jewish radical threatens to reveal this hidden truth and use it to rend apart the fragile Middle East—and only an unlikely duo of hardened detectives of very different origins and a young, enterprising Palestinian journalist can unite to ward off disaster.

A relentless and fast-paced thriller that moves from Egypt to Jerusalem to the Sinai Desert, that spans the millennia and involves Cathar heretics, Nazi prisoners, and modern-day suicide bombers, Paul Sussman’s The Last Secret of the Temple is a thrilling, roller-coaster adventure that brilliantly examines the participants on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Timely, important, and completely absorbing, it marks Paul Sussman as one of today’s great thriller writers.

My Review:

A Free Friday offering from a couple of weeks ago, this book sounded like it had nearly everything. It was described, if I remember correctly, as part Historical Fiction, part Archeology Thriller, and part of it had something to do with World War II. It sounded so intriguing to me.

And it was. Don’t get me wrong. But what detracted from it for me was again the use of the f word over and over again. I didn’t think it was possible for an author to use the f word so much. I think the only way it might have been worse is if the author had substituted the f word for every other word of dialogue. And there were some sections that made it appear as though that was exactly what he had done.

Okay. Now that I have gotten that little rant out-of-the-way, let me continue with the rest of the book. The story was very compelling. The description that I mentioned to you earlier, for the most part, was accurate. But if I were to describe this one I would label it a cross between The Davinci Code and any of the Indiana Jones movies but with a lot of f bombs.

The first prologue introduces us the object our heroes will soon be searching for and then the second one gives us a brief event in the object’s existence during World War II. It turns out that was pretty much the extent of the World War II part of the novel so that was a little disappointing for me.

But the story that the novel is centered around starts with an Egyptian police inspector investing a death that he deems as “suspicious.” Yusuf Khalifa, our inspector is the most interesting character in the novel for me. And out of all our main characters, he swears the least, so I enjoyed the segments featuring him the most.

He is honest and though he battles demons of his own, he does so with grace, humility and a lot less anger than some of the others. Though, to be fair, he has the most to be thankful for as well since he has not yet been robbed of any members of his family.

The plot was another great asset of this book. I kept reading merely at first to discover who the killer was. And then, even after Khalifa had solved that mystery, I read to find out about this mysterious object that had been rescued from the Jerusalem temple during Titus’s siege of Jerusalem.

In short, the story is good. The f bombs were not but if you can put up with them, it just might be worth a read.

Contains: a lot of foul language, some sensuality, thriller violence


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