An ancient Coptic monastery, a hidden desert hideout, the Oval office, and Jerusalem's Temple mount â€” these are a few of the stops in Terry Brennan's latest whirlwind novel. From Lebanon to Ireland, New York to the Suez, The Brotherhood Conspiracy weaves an intricate web of secrecy, espionage and discovery.
The sequel to Brennan's earlier debut novel The Sacred Cipher, this book continues the adventures of Tom Bohannon and his motley crew of archaeological detectives. Having already discovered a hidden Jewish temple built on the Temple mount but below the Dome of the Rock, an even more outlandish prize lures the frazzled team back to the dangerous quest of discovery.
Once again the author pursues a relentless pace using a staccato rhythm, moving the story one bite-size portion to the next. That approach may be wearisome to some readers, and is frustrating in the earlier portion of the book for those readers who didn't just put down his earlier book before beginning its sequel. The plot keeps one guessing as the potential of an end-times return of Christ cannot be dismissed, even as the role of a **spoiler alert** newly rediscovered Tabernacle **end spoiler**, doesn't seem to fit any popular end-times Christian fancies.
Brennan appeals to the amateur archaeologist with his mention of cartouches (Egyptian hieroglyphic ovals), discussions of Demotic and Coptic languages, and his historical treatment of the Crusaders and Jewish history. Occasionally, I found some errors in his historical facts which stood out glaringly against the overall historical emphasis in the tale. 1 Maccabees is mentioned as a book that the Council of Trent removed from the Bible (in fact it was the Protestants who removed it and Trent affirmed its canonicity), and the prophet Jonah is mentioned as having preached 40 years (instead of days) to Nineveh. The story itself stretches credulity, but the first book's miraculous find of a centuries-old Jewish temple sets the stage for anything being possible. Brennan's masterful character development and ability to draw out a wide range of emotions from virtually all of his characters keeps the story tethered enough to reality, that the reader goes along with the incredible â€” and happily at that.
Fans of archaeological fiction, in the vein of Paul Maier (A Skeleton in God's Closet) and Don Hoesel (Elisha's Bones), will enjoy this latest offering from Terry Brennan. Those looking for a fast-paced read with characters striving to follow God's leading in their lives even as they battle against Islamic assassins and try to evade Israeli intelligence â€” on a mission for the President of the United States, no less â€” will also enjoy this intriguing work. I recommend the book and look forward to the third (and final?) book in this series.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Kregel Publications. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Prophecy, intrigue, and terrorism action adventure
July 26, 2013
Terry Brennan in his new book "The Brotherhood Conspiracy" Book Two in The Sacred Cipher series published by Kregel Publications gives us another thriller with Tom Bohannon.
From the back cover: A secret as old as the prophets lies hidden in an ancient code. That code may uncover an artifact as mysterious, and dangerous, as The Lost Ark.
Jerusalem's Temple Mount has been obliterated. The Dome of the Rock and the most astounding archaeological find in two thousand years are engulfed in a smoking crater.
While Israel schemes for permanent control of the Temple Mount by resurrecting a structure as sacred as the Temple and as old as the Exodus, a legendary Islamic iman steps from the shadows of history to wrest leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and forge Islamic unity.
American Tom Bohannon and his loose-knit cadre of archaeologists and historians race against time to decode new clues from eleventh-century artifacts and uncover a global conspiracy that could trigger the annihilation of the Middle East.
One step ahead of an ancient gang of assassins, and one step behind the deadline for impending disaster, the team encounters the death of friends and colleagues and maneuvers through a maze of political treachery, religious fanaticism and traitorous machinations-to the very brink of judgement orchestrated by a force greater than they could ever have imagined.
Prophecy, intrigue, and terrorism saturate "The Brotherhood Conspiracy". The Sacred Cipher still has messages left within it and Bohannon and his team are in deadly danger as they try to decipher the new message and fulfill what it reveals. All the while trying to escape the groups that are out to destroy them. "The Brotherhood Conspiracy" is almost a non-stop action thriller. Mr. Brennan has put in so many twists and turns in his story that it would make a roller coaster envious. Tom, Doc, Joe and Sammy are wonderful characters that we care about, want to see escape the danger that they find themselves in and want them to succeed. Terry Brennan has given us a unique thriller that will keep you on the edge of your chair as you read and flip pages as fast as possible. I recommend this book highly and look forward to the next book in the series!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Tom Bohannon is home in the United States after barely surviving the adventure of a lifetime and making a discovery that changed the face of the Middle East_for a month. He has seen the Temple Mount collapse via television and begins to wonder why God would call him on such a mission as it appears to have a seeming waste of time with loss of life. Tom just wants to get back to a normal life, but then he receives a call from the President of the United States. The President wants him to find another ancient Jewish treasure to help preserve Jerusalem. Can Tom and his colleagues ignore a "request" from the President of the United States? Are they really ready for another dangerous mission so soon after the other has just ended in which they survived by the skin of their teeth?
While Tom and his friends deal with this issue in the USA, other forces in the Middle East are at work to prevent a restoration of Jerusalem. Instead of rebuilding, the Brotherhood calls for jihad. The imam in control wants revenge for what he views as Israel's destruction of the Dome of the Rock and the Muslim temple that were on the Temple Mount. He sends men after these Americans to kill them for their interference. Israel's leader also has his agenda he is pursuing. Who will accomplish their mission first? There is much political maneuvering and deception involved. Who can be trusted?
It was great to reconnect with these familiar characters in another adventure with dangerous consequences to the characters, their families and their countries. I liked how the author placed a subtitle heading when he changed locations; it really helped keep all the characters and the geography straight. I enjoyed the historical information presented and learned some new things. Just as in the first novel, the action, mystery and suspense kept me turning pages quickly to find out what would happen next. The story was captivating and entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable.
"There is no solution to the Mount. So we make a solution that solves our problems." (p.44)
These words were spoken in the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, but they are words that could have been uttered by several groups represented in Terry Breenan's latest novel, The Brotherhood Conspiracy. This book opens with a catastrophic event that brings the world to the brink of destruction. The Temple Mount or Dome of the Rock - the warring point of a centuries long battle between the Jewish and Muslim people - is the epicenter of this event, and thus the story is told from both Jewish, Muslim and American points of view. The author cleverly takes the reader from one location on the globe to another at an ever-increasing speed so that you are able to understand what each group feels their personal stake is at this point in time. It seems like everyone on the globe will be impacted to some degree - depending on who is the first to reclaim this holy site.
In addition to following this age-old warring over this site, there are even greater stakes at play - world power. Also, there are ancient artifacts and hidden messages that are found by the same group from The Sacred Cipher. This time however, the group is reeling from loss and is very uncertain that God has called them back into this very dangerous place during this very critical time. All of them, including Tom Bohannon, struggle with their faith, their purpose and the role it seems they are destined to play in these global events. At times, it is rather heartbreaking, because they must face even greater, and more personal losses.
At first, I thought I was going to be reading an end of the world story. And in a way, I was. But more importantly, I was reading a story that wasn't so very far removed from reality. Once again, Terry Brennan takes history and modern day events and blends them with future prophecy that hammers home the truth about the role the Middle East will play in world events until the Lord calls us home. It is vital that we know what history teaches and the Bible prophesies about this part of the world! At least that is what I feel when I get to the end of one of Brennan's stories!
BUT, this is a very fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you are reading! It is also a story that will impact the way you receive any news coming out of the Middle East. This is a powerful and thought-provoking story, and one that has more yet to be told!! Not the end_.
This book isn't really being advertises as a sequel, but I would recommend reading the first book, The Sacred Cipher first. This book picks up where the first book left off, and by reading the first, the reader understands the characters and what is going on better.
This is not what I would call light reading for fiction. There is a lot of history and research in the book, and though it is very interesting and suspenseful, it is a book you need to read when its quiet and you can think. The author does a great job of showing the conflict between Muslims and Jews, and what a boiling cauldron the temple mount area is. In both books, he paints a great picture of what could happen if the Jews did discover a temple on the temple mount and started sacrificing again, and what could and would most likely happen.
I enjoyed both books, and the look it gave me into the area of Jerusalem, into the history, and the conflict that surrounds that area. I'd recommend these books to anyone interested in the Jewish-Muslim fighting and the idea of the Jews worshipping again on the temple mount. I got so much more from these books than an entertaining read. I learned a lot while I was entertained.
One thing that did bother me about both books: I am still of the belief that Christians should not drink alcoholic beverages, and if they do, it should be in moderation and not in bars. The main character in the books is a Christian who drinks beer frequently, and in bars. That bothered me a lot. I wish Christian authors would just steer clear of an issue that a lot of evangelical Christians till believe something Christians shouldn't do.