ISBN: 978098753369X, a thriller that presents mystery, history, national/international political intrigue, science at the cutting edge, speculation and murder all combined in an e-book by Stefan Vucak.
Plot: Cherber Shaken, an accountant working to enlarge his nagging wife Alisa’s garden in a suburban area of Palestine, unexpectedly breaks into an ancient burial site, discovers two ossuaries containing unusual skeletons and a ‘different’ crystal. He sells them to Acaph Yaron, a man with some knowledge of such artifacts who takes pictures and sends them to Dr. Ezrah Kutner, an academic at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum. Ezrah is intrigued by the fact that the skeletons are similar to others discovered in the country, buys the bones and containers. He does not know what to make of the crystal, so Yaron takes it to Tel Aviv and sells it to Geffen, a gem dealer. Geffen discovers it has unusual properties and arranges an auction by contacting Lau Wei in Hong Kong, Vasily Drotenkov in Moscow, and Terrance Truscott in the U.S. for their acquaintance with ‘high rollers’ who might be interested. Dr. Kevin Morrison, a remarkably intelligent inventor of a pigment that can be applied to various surfaces to absorb solar rays to generate power, wins the crystal for a 400K bid. Meanwhile Kutner discovers that the bones DNA dates to 730 BCE and are similar to others found in Peru in 1928. He speaks with Israeli authorities who decide they would be interested in the Chrystal. By this time, however, it has been sold to Morrison who sends his trusted ‘enforcer’, former Navy Seal Nolan Trotman, to pick it up. Trotman does but is attacked by an oriental disguised as a Middle Easterner, a couple of other people are killed and the story accelerates as action piles up, International incidents occur and the reader is led into an ever widening web of intrigue that never stops until the perhaps somewhat unexpected, but certainly considered, logical ending.
Discussion/Conclusion: The author has produced a story including fascinating historical features, interesting technological concepts, authentic military details, fanciful but totally possible elements of political intrigue at both national and international levels, business affairs, intriguing conjectures with respect to technological applications of the quantum theory and just plain old murder. These elements he has captivatingly interwoven to provide the reader with a uniquely satisfying story. Admittedly, judicial editing of some of the ruminations and verbal interchanges by and between some of the political figures would have served to avoid a ‘slowing’ in the story’s otherwise smoothly advancing pace. Also, the protagonist is quite shallow and much could be done to develop some of the other characters. However, as a basically plot driven story it provides a quite captivating novel.
4* Captivating basically plot driven novel; 3* for reasons cited.