Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Action-Packed Thriller with a Historical Mystery

Karen Vail and her fiancé, Robbie Hernandez, are enjoying a quiet date. Hearing two gunshots, they rush into the street where they stumble across the body of an FBI agent. Karen sees the perp running away, shoots, hits him and causes a major explosion. This incident pulls Karen into an undercover assignment linked to terrorists trying to take over the United States and Europe.

The historical link is the Codex, an ancient scroll that could change the history of Judaism and Christianity. The terrorists want the scroll, but so does the US Government. Looking for the scroll and trying to root out the terrorists take Karen and her team from the US to Europe and to the Near East.

The book is a fast, paced-action thriller. The action sequences are very well done and there are many of them. However, some parts of the novel are disappointing. Karen Vail, the FBI Profiler who has been featured in some of Jacobson's previous novels, is not as forceful as usual. Some of her internal monologues are simplistic and detract from her mission.

I was also disappointed in the role given the Codex. I love historical mysteries and looked forward to this one, but the Codex turned out to be a subplot. We get glimpses of it from time to time, but it plays a minor role in the action.

The part I most enjoyed was Jacobson's discussions of terrorism. It's worth reading the book to become involved in how terrorist networks perform in western countries. The book was enjoyable, but I wish the balance between the historical mystery and the present day terrorist activities had been more equal.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.