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Shattered Icon [Hardcover]

Bill Napier
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jun 2003
As an antique map dealer in a small English town, Harry Blake appreciates the quiet life. But when a local landowner asks him to value a 400 year old journal and twelve hours later he is brutally murdered, Harry's peace of mind is shattered. What does the dusty journal contain that is a matter of life or death? Why is someone prepared to pay Harry a fortune to steal it? He turns to marine historian Zola Khan to uncover the mysteries. And when they meet at the old Greenwich Observatory, Harry is convinced there is more to Zola than meets the eye. The trail of the journal leads him into a world of deadly Elizabethan conspiracies, and the thread of history takes him through a thousand years of religious intrigue back to the blood-soaked Crusades. And he finally learns that at stake are millions of dollars and a plan to trigger nothing less than war...

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (2 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747269254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747269250
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,129,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A fascinating primer on code-breaking and the importance of calendars in human history' Irish Independent

Book Description

The fourth, electrifying thriller from Britain's answer to Michael Crichton

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ancient Secret 22 Jan 2005
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
When I had this book given as a Christmas present I did not think it would be my cup of tea. How wrong can you be? Bill Napier is a new author to me, so I had no pre-conceived ideas of his writing style or accomplishment as a story teller and really loved the book.
Harry Blake is an antique map dealer in a small town in England and rarely becomes involved in anything outside his field of expertise. But when he is asked to value a 400 year old journal by a local landowner who is subsequently murdered, Harry's peace of mind is shattered.
What is contained in the dusty old journal that warrants a murder?
The journal leads him into a world of deadly conspiracies in Elizabethan times and on through more than a thousand years of religious intrigue, back to the Crusades and a secret location of a holy relic.
Can Harry find the missing puzzle in the jigsaw that is attracting some particularly unscrupulous adversaries. At stake are millions of dollars and a terrorist plot . . .
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even better than The Da Vinci Code 8 Feb 2006
This is such an exciting book. I picked it up because it said on the cover it was similar to The Da Vinci Code (by Dan Brown), which I loved. I must say, Shattered Icon is indeed, at least partly, similar to the Code, but it has so much more. While TDVC stays firmly in the present, Shattered Icon delves into the 16th century time and again, where it explains the famous Roanoke expedition as seen and experienced by the 15 year old scottish farmer's son James Ogilvie. This novel really does have it all. Suspense, educational elements, mysteries, ruthless killers, tiny fragments of love and romance (any more would have been cheesey) and a satisfying ending. A real pageturner. Very impressive!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Napier showing signs of slowing down 6 Feb 2004
By A Customer
"Shattered icon" is a good read - flowing,tense and with a nice dual narration of our hero and the manuscript he finds,both in the first tense.
However,it pales in comparison to his previous books - the level of scientific jargon has been commercially toned down,the complexity likewise and last but not least "Shattered icon " is a mere 320 pages in the hardcopy - the book sort of runs out in a rather hasty manner as Napier scrambles to tie the knots before the last page.
All in all not quite up to Napier's standards.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book!! 1 Jan 2006
I loved this book and cant wait to read more of Bill Napier's books. If you like fast paced intelligent and enjoyable books this is the one for you. I am sitting writing this review because its a good book and deserves a positive review.
I think the paragraphs and layout make for a fast paced read - if you love long enormous endless verbose philosophical flaccid dense paragraphs that go slowly thoroughly and tediously, indirectly and passively nowhere then this ISNT the book for you, and Finnegans Wake is always available!
If however you like pacey thrillers, that are enjoyable, written with vigour and enthusiasm, and show clever thinking and entertaining ideas, I would say buy and read this book. Its great stuff and well worth the money.
It has a great beginning, lyrical and evocative and the story races along with great speed with gripping ideas and wide ranging intelligent themes, from the ethos of Christianity, Elizabethan skullduggery, and what people may do for a tantalising view of some profound and life changing truth. Now thats what I want in a book - and I really loved it. I dont know what more you might want!!
This is a good thrilling read, a real pleasure and not a chore, with a pacey story that doesnt let up. Really its cracking stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced Da Vinci Code Like Thriller 5 Feb 2006
By Scottish Dave VINE VOICE
Having reading and really enjoyed a couple of Napier's other books ("Revelation" and "Nemesis") I thought I'd give this one a go.
There are two stories in one. A group of people in the present time are using a journal to track down the key to a hidden relic. The second story is the unfolding tale contained within the journal from the 13th century.
There are comparisons to the Da Vinci Code. It is a fairly fast paced thriller with a religious element but unfortunately it's not quite up to the standard of Dan Brown in terms of the characters and story. However, I still found it enjoyable and worthwhile read. Sure some of the characters were a bit thin and the plot could have been tighter but it was a fun read.
Overall 7/10 and it leaves me planning to track down Napier's fourth book "The Lure" sometime in the future but maybe not today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 14 May 2006
This is a book that involves the hunt for a 400-year-old journal. The story switches between the past and the present. The modern day story involves the hunt for the journal, and the past involves the adventures of the writer of the journal - a fifteen-year-old Scottish boy who has left home for the first time and ends up at sea, via London.

The plot is fast and action is near constant, especially in the modern day. The old sections are much better, where the story is developed much better.

I felt a weakness of the book was its ending. I felt that the final part of the book felt rushed, and the ending had not been given much thought.

Overall, an excellent read, especially the old parts. Unfortunately it loses a star for some of the sub-standard modern parts and an iffy ending.
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