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BOOK REVIEW: THE ALEXANDER CIPHER
BY WILL ADAMS
We hope you enjoy this book review by
Douglas R. Cobb.
Itís not often that a book can be honestly called "great," but if itís an exciting, edge-of-the-seat page turner about finding the tomb of Alexander the Great, and the treasure trove believed to be contained within it, such as with Will Adamsís excellent thriller The Alexander Cipher, using the word "great," to describe it is no idle exaggeration. Intrepid Egyptologist Daniel Knox has the odds stacked against him, becoming the target of pursuit by Hassan, a ruthless businessman/gangster who wants to get revenge on Knox for beating him up. Knox surfaced from a dive to see Hassan treating a blond American woman, Fiona, brutally aboard the boat they were on with Hassanís bodyguards, and though he knows Hassan is not a man to be crossed if you valued your life, Daniel feels he canít let the abuse to go on.
Hot on the trail of Alexanderís tomb, Knox is also wanted by the Egyptian police and military, and powerful Macedonian foes the Dragoumises (Philip and his son Nicolas). He is aided by his friend Rick and fellow Egyptologist Gaille Bonnard, who is the first to crack a cipher discovered in a tomb in Alexandria. The Dragoumises want to locate Alexanderís mummified remains and take them back to Macedonia, and then claim Alexanderís tomb was discovered there in a cave. By revealing their find to the world, they feel they can provoke an intense feeling of nationalism among the Macedonians, and get them aroused enough to start a war for independence against Greece and become a nation in their own right, as they once were, before being split among three different countries during the year of 1912, following the Treaty of Bucharest.
After the incredible success of Dan Brownís The Da Vinci Code, it became an unwritten rule that no other novel could use the word "code" in its title. If any dared try, comparisons and contrasts between the novels would likely take up the majority of whatever review might be written, and it would be impossible to think of one without thinking of the other, unless you happened to live under a rock. The word "cipher," I suppose, though similar, must have been considered to be comparatively safe, as it was used in at least one other recently released book I can think of, The Dakota Cipher, by William Dietrich. I wonít bore you with comparisons, other than stating the extremely obvious, that codes/ciphers play crucial roles in each of these three novels, and that other than that, theyíre each unique and well-written suspenseful edge-of-your-seat thrillers.
Knox makes his way to Alexandria not because he hears of some fantastic dig going on there, or rumors of a marvelous crypt uncovered containing unsurpassed riches, but because, Hassan has his men watching all of the available routes out of Egypt. He has people at the airports, at military checkpoints, and manning equipment to track Knox down if he tries to use his cell phone. With escape from Egypt impossible, he heads for what he hopes will be a safe temporary sanctuary, the apartment of his friend, the French Egyptologist Augustin Pascal who has been hired to work at a newly discovered tomb that is linked directly to Alexander and thirty-three of his best soldiers and shield bearers.
Through his friend, Daniel gets a job working at the same site, though he has to wear native clothing to try to avoid being spotted by any of Hassanís men, or identified and captured by the police or military. Itís at this tomb that Gaille Bonnard sees a mysterious inscription. Though written in cipher form, she is able to translate and decipher the words. But, the question is, will Daniel and Gaille be able to continue evading the combined forces who are after them, and get to Alexanderís tomb before their pursuers, or will they die trying?
The Alexander Cipher is a fast-paced, exciting thriller that will keep you up late at night reading. If you like novels set in exotic locals, with plenty of action and break-neck chase scenes, and are fans of books like Dan Brownís Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, or William Dietrichís Napoleonís Pyramids and The Dakota Cipher, then youíre sure to love reading Will Adamís The Alexander Cipher. Itís no "secret" that Will Adams is quickly becoming one of todayís best writers of the thriller genre.
REVIEWED BY DOUGLAS R. COBB
DO NOT REPRINT
WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, DOUBLAS R. COBB
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