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The Last Secret of the Temple Hardcover – 10 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 555 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press (10 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871139723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871139726
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16.3 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 807,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For as long as I can remember, the two great loves of my life have been writing and archaeology (three if you include travelling in out of the way places, especially deserts). For many years I worked as a field archaeologist in Egypt, notably in Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, and all my novels to a greater or lesser extent draw on my experiences excavating and living in Egypt and the Middle East. My main protagonist, Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police, is a composite of a number of people I know, and while his colourful adventures are products purely of my imagination, the world he inhabits is very much a real one. Through Khalifa I try to explore issues such as terrorism, contemporary Middle East politics, religion and government corruption, all against a backdrop of the extraordinary history and archaeological heritage of that part of the world. To find out a bit more about me and my novels, check out my website: www.paul-sussman.com.

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Review


"Not just a tightly plotted, richly observed, thought-provoking thriller, but one with a soul . . . The compelling mix of tough, page-turning suspense, archaeology, history, and characters caught up in the brutal politics of the Middle East make this a timely and authentic novel. Paul Sussman builds his story with the meticulous strokes of a craftsman, growing it from a seemingly innocuous death in the shadows of the pyramids to a discovery that threatens millions of lives." --Raymond Khoury, author of "The Last Templar"
"The Last Secret of the Temple is a gripping mystery, intricately plotted and eloquently told, with more hairpin turns than the road to Hitler's Berchtesgaden. But more than that, its tale of an ancient artifact and the grudging alliance of an Egyptian detective and Israeli cop is as urgent and meaningful as the best journalism. Paul Sussman's novel is not just thrilling, it makes the tension and promise of the Middle East heartbreakingly alive." --William Dietrich, author of "Napoleon's Pyramids"
"The Last Secret of the Temple is a brilliant detective novel, hidden within a medieval saga, tucked inside of an archaeological mystery, surrounded by a modern-day Middle-East Terrorist thriller. Paul Sussman has managed the impossible: a multi-layered quest-- where all the characters are real and alive, and we should expect the completely unexpected." --Katherine Neville, author of "The Eight"
"Two for two. Another surefire winner from a gifted storyteller. Hopefully, The Last Secret of the Temple won't be Paul Sussman's last." --Steve Berry, author of "The Templar Legacy"
"While Paul Sussman's brilliant novel, The Last Secret of the Temple, will be compared to Dan Brown's eight-hundred-pound gorilla, it is so much more. The mystery runs deeper, the history more accurate, the suspense drawn to a keener edge. It also shines a light into a bloody part of the world, where it is hard to tell enemy from friend, and where ancien

Book Description

Pushing the Dan Brown buttons - a rip-roaring, edge-of-your-seat adventure thriller. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Miss K TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second novel in the series by Paul Sussman featuring Detective Inspector Khalifa - the first being 'The Lost Army of Cambyses'. I purchased the two books together and I'm glad I did or else I would have missed out on this great gem! I really didn't enjoy the first book all that much finding the majority of characters so dull I couldn't bring myself to care when their lives were hanging in the balance. The one character that was interesting however was Khalifa who appears again in the second book as the Detective with a moral conscience. It is not necessary to read the books in chronological order as there are only a few passing references to the first book and The Last Secret of the Temple is by far the more superior of the two.

I won't go into what the book is actually about in this review as I think there is enough said about the story in the synopsis and in some of the reviews here but what I will say is that I've not read a book of this type that was this good since I read the Dan Brown's books a few years back. It is very easy to get into and the story does keep you hooked until the end. The book looks at religious conflict, racial prejudices and hatred, morality and power and it deals with these themes effectively without becoming too political or too sentimental. I can't wait for Paul Sussman's next novel and this one is definitely highly recommended!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lady K on 5 Sept. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I fell willing into the publisher's 'if you loved the Da Vinci Code you'll love this' trap and I'm so glad I did. No disrespect to Dan Brown who wrote a terrific single plot thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed but this is so much more. A complex series of interwoven ideas and characters from ancient Jewish and Christian history to the complexities and moral ambiguity of the current situation in the Middel East it's a heart-thumping, page-turning thriller, with wonderfully imagined,multi dimensional central characters. Well written- literary without being pretentious, good storytelling without dumbing down. If you read nothing else this year you have to read this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Louise Bostock on 23 Jan. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In Egypt's Valley of the Kings a body is found, kicking off a series of events and discoveries for chain-smoking Egyptian detective Yusuf Khalifa. As he delves deeper into the dead man's background, Khalifa realises that there is more to the case than at first meets the eye. The story veers from the invasion of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD to the suicide bombings and inter-racial hatred of present-day Israel, in search of an ancient artefact that could send the Middle East up in flames.

Paul Sussman's second book is hard to get into. The fragmentation of the first part, as Sussman sets the scene from the viewpoints of several protagonists, almost lets the book down before it's really gotten off the starting blocks. But stick with it. From the moment the various characters meet and piece together the mystery bit by bit, the pace starts to hot up, leading to a triple crisis at the end and a superb cliffhanger in the final moments.

The publishers have used a quote from the Independent newspaper's reviewer for the cover of the paperback edition of the book : "The intelligent reader's answer to The Da Vinci Code". I guess this is referring to the depth of the background geographical, political, emotional and psychological scenery that goes along with the "explosive" plot, a depth clearly missing from Dan Brown's massive bestseller.

Or perhaps it simply means that all is not as it seems, and therein lie a number of explosions not caused by concealed explosives belts or underground arsenals.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Misty on 23 Aug. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's not often you get both in the classic 'airport novel' genre, they're usually pretty brainless. This one certainly isn't. Set in the middle east and featuring a mixture of israeli & palestinian characters, i think it does a good job of illustrating the horrors inflicted in both directions without being partisan one way or the other. And the author doesn't let politics interfere with a damn good story, but the way it's interwoven gives pause for thought.

The adventure part itself is well done, not dry and definitely structured to keep you reading (I read it in a day). It has the usual cathar/templar stuff but for a change not really a Christian view point. The main character (egyptian detective) is really well written and easy to imagine as a real person, likewise his counterpart is all too human. The weakest character is the woman who is a bit bland and stereotypical in comparison.

The only other thing i found a bit disappointing and hence 4 not 5 stars was the twist which i thought wasn't needed and wasn't convincing with the character it involved

However if you like the Da vinci code you will definitely like this, and i am looking forward to reading the first book by the same author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N. Young on 2 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
A refreshingly intelligent, complex and fast-paced thriller that combines police procedural, archaeology, Medieval history (including, perhaps inevitably, the Knights Templar), the present-day conflict in the Middle East and the Nazis. That the two key events in the prologue happen in 60AD and towards the end of the Second World War tell you much about the broad historical sweep of this novel.

If you read the 'Da Vinci Code' and thought it was somewhat lacking in several aspects, then this is the novel for you. The characters are more believable, especially the two detectives (one Egyptian, the other an Arab-hating Israeli) who end up being forced to work together to uncover a secret that could hold the key to peace in the Middle East - provided it doesn't fall into the wrong hands, that is.

In addition to a cracking plot, this novel looks even-handedly at serious issues such as racial hatred, religious fanaticism, morality and power, and does so without resorting to bias, sentimentality or treating the reader like an idiot.

To sum up, this is is a very well-researched and well-written novel for the thinking reader who enjoys modern-day thrillers. I must confess that had not heard of Paul Sussman before, but on this evidence I shall definitely be on the lookout for more of his works in the future.
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