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The Babylon Gene [Paperback]

Alex Churton
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2012

When Jihadists bomb a Masonic lodge in Istanbul, maverick British agent Toby Ashe is hurled into a race against the CIA to solve an intelligence puzzle encompassing genetic research, the origins of Freemasonry, a covert SAS mission and the strange disappearance of the leader of an ancient Kurdish tribe.

What if the superpowers of the twenty-first century aren't fighting over resources, regime change or religion? What if the world's governments are seeking something far more dangerous? A centuries-old weapon of terrifying power...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (1 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908800119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908800114
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,470,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'a quite breathless thriller ... Extremely well recommended' Eurocrime.

'a cracking debut for this new author' Falcata Times.

About the Author

Alex Churton is a writer and composer. He was the founder editor of Freemasonry Today, and is an acknowledged expert on Western Esotericism. He is the author of ten non-fiction titles on subjects such as alchemy, the Rosucrucians and Judas. This is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiction (or is it?) 16 Aug 2013
By Mr. G. Johns VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was attracted to this particular book by its allusion, in the synopsis, to Freemasonry. As a Freemason myself I wanted to see what it said about "The Craft" and it was obvious to me that the author of the book, Alex Churton, is a Mason, as the Masonic references contained within the pages do not give any deep secrets away, just the occasional line, which, unless one is a Mason, would just be a natural remark, e.g. "I was taught to be cautious..."
The story itself is intriguing and is broken down into short chapters, to take the reader to various places around the world, is full of excitement as well as knowledge.
I'm hoping we shall see more of Dr. Toby Ashe in future mote it be...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Debut 7 Sep 2012
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I love a thriller that not only takes me on a ride but delivers all the things that make reading them a special experience. You've got some shocks, some great twists, gripping danger and when added to a spartan writing style that allows you to get to the meat of the tale, all adds up to be a cracking debut for this new author.

Add to this a lead character who takes knocks that require recovery time, that brings a solid investigating style to the mix as well as having a number of facets that allow the reader to get to not only know him but also like him. All in a great debut book all round and a great second offering from this new publisher.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There's much less running around libraries than in Dan Brown's magnum opus, but there is a gigantic dollop of religion, Masonic history and connections to the ancient past overlaying the search for a bio-weapon.

Elements of the book reminded me of the work of the late, great author Craig Thomas - though whether this was partly because the hero lives in Thomas' old home town of Lichfield I can't be sure. As for the hero, one Toby Ashe, himself an author - in addition to working for the British secret intelligence service - I found it difficult to like him. Obviously, as the hero, he had frequently to Do The Right Thing, but I found the other aspects of his character jarred with this.

What also jarred was the author's insistence on demonstrating the depth of his research at every opportunity, sometimes to the detriment of the rhythm of the novel. I didn't need to know that our hero drives a Saab 9-3 convertible, painted to special order in Rosso Bologna, nor that it was the 110-inch wheelbase model of Land Rover that transported him into the Kurdish hills, when he wasn't being driven around Iraq in a BMW armour-plated to Level 5, or a Mercedes with Level 7 protection.

The action sequences were well written and the supporting characters, though largely a mixture of standard archetypes, were reasonably entertaining, but I felt that in trying to shoehorn in details from his research, the author sacrificed the pacing that a good thriller needs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars gene or genius? 27 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Once you've read this book it will come as no surprise that the author is, amongst his attributes, a composer. This book is most definitely a composition, created step-by-step to build a competent novel but which lacks the depth of characterization to permit the reader to have any empathy with the characters.

Dr. Toby Ashe, probably the main protagonist, wanders around the Middle East, standing his corner in firefights, falling for a Kurdish princess, all the while investigating the bombing of a Freemasons Lodge in Turkey. Given the author's background, there is loads in the book relating to Freemasonry and the history of a great many disparate factions emanating from the Middle East many of which are interwoven in the threats both real and imagined spreading globally today.

However, what appears to be part of Bush's `War on Terror' (although the author misquotes this several times) is, in fact, an attempt to engineer human genes, based on the premise that life as we understand it emanated from the Kurds.

An Iraqi scientist, therefore, seems to be the lead candidate to get his comeuppance as he eludes the FBI, Homeland Security, et al, bumping off several minor characters on his secret journey, both figurative and literal to develop this weapon of destruction of the masses. It's here where the matter for this reader becomes complicated; there are just too many sidetracks, each seeming to be part of the main thrust of the story but it's never quite clear how they are supposed to be included in the investigation. In fairness, the final pages clear up all these little matters but as we go along with the story they only serve to confuse.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Liked this book 8 Feb 2014
By Mrs. C. Colbert VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a book with loads about it.
It has seeds in Middle Eastern politics. That says it all.
The author is well versed in this subject which in my opinion is what is needed to make the book interesting.
The subjects matter contains spys, terrorism, conspiracies, murderers etc.
This book is not for everyone, but for sheer adventure and intrigue it is a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Dan Brown 7 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At first glance my initial belief was that Alex Churton was jumping on the Dan Brown bandwagon with what seems the public's insatiable appetite for books of this genre. Tales of symbolism, Masonic Lodges and frenzied races against time! Tob Ash is no Robert Langtonor Alex Churton no Dan Brown, but if you are fan of this genre, you will not be disappointed. However the narrative stgrugles to flow consistently, not a page turner, but a plausible first novel. I struggled to get to the end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Romp of a Tale
This is a debut fiction novel by an academic and established nonfiction writer. Its hero is Dr Toby Ashe, himself an academic and writer. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Brett H
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much going on
I think I'm going to have to stop reading thrillers. They sound so good in the blurb, but so rarely do they do it for me. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Book Critic
3.0 out of 5 stars Thriller-by-numbers
The plot intrigued me and although I hadn't read a previous novel by Alex Churton I decided to take the plunge and risk it. Was that the right decision? Not really. Read more
Published 27 days ago by D. P. Mankin
3.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed research but needs to show less of the detail in the...
What attracted me to the book was the title involving gene. I should have known that this was a bad idea as I am someone who works on genetic data as the science was going to be... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Dalby
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced
I quite liked this but probably wouldn't seek out any more books by the author. The writing style was generally okay and fairly decent at times. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Emperor
4.0 out of 5 stars Babylon Gene
Gave this 4 star rating as I liked the fast pace and the action moving from country to country
This is a new author to me and shall be looking for his other work
Published 2 months ago by Mary Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner
Once I had started, I couldn't put this book down. The story flowed and the characters were good. There was a lot happening but not so much that you lose track of who's who and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. F. Huxley
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding: nothing More Need be Said
This book is very complex and you need to keep your wits about you whilst reading. However, it is one of the most gripping books I have read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wendy Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars not for me
In this novel no one can be trusted, and the reader is led on a high class thriller journey as the hero Tony Ashe lives a James Bond type lifestyle racing around the world to solve... Read more
Published 8 months ago by xenofan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best
I have read a lot of this sort of genre fiction. I usually call it candy-floss reading as it is fluffy and then disappears immediately. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Simon Tavener
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