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The Moses Stone
 
 

The Moses Stone [Kindle Edition]

James Becker
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Product Description

Review

A thrilling historical mystery full of ingenious clues and unexpected twists. GOOD BOOK GUIDE, Sept 09

Book Description

In the bestselling tradition of The Shakespeare Secret, a read-in-one gulp thriller that unravels a mystery as ancient as it is deadly.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1128 KB
  • Print Length: 470 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451412877
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (15 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RSBT6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,944 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fast moving thriller 29 July 2009
By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I have to confess that James Becker's previous book left me under whelmed, a surprise as I really rate the thrillers he writes under his other guise of James Barrington. But as I know the author can write thrilling stories, I picked this up.

Initially I thought I would mention that this is a path well trod by a variety of authors from Rollins to McDermott and many others. Artefact or map found, chase all over the world, religion as we know it under question etc etc. But then I thought the same could be said of thrillers or sci-fi or almost anything you come to mention, there is very little that has not been done before in some guise or other. So I thought I would just review the book as a piece of entertainment without reference to other big names or comparisons.

When a British couple are killed in Morocco just after they obtain a stone tablet, Police Sergeant Chris Bronson is sent over to ensure that the investigation has been properly undertaken (slight weak point here, as Police Officers are not randomly send around the world to investigate deaths abroad, but never mind). On arrival Bronson suspects there is more to the deaths then is obvious and involves his estranged wife in further investigation. When she too becomes targeted and joins him, they need to stay one step ahead of a lot of bad guys if they want to uncover the secret of the tablet. Cue a chase over the sands of the Middle East as various Arab bad guys, UK gangster types, Mossad and our heroes get nearer solving the mystery.

Well apart from a couple of stumbles I have to confess I enjoyed this. It is fast paced, but realistically so. James Becker does not rush the plot and makes you kind of understand the characters and their motives.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, worth reading. 2 Aug. 2009
Format:Paperback
This book is an entertaining, relatively light read, peppered with graphic, if occasional, scenes of violence and death. I mention the violence because although there is much more to the book than that, I felt that the various murders were described in such clear detail that for someone who was squeamish, it would not be pleasant. Injuries and the like are actually described in greater detail than most characters' appearances. I wouldn't say I found this off-putting, but people who don't like violent movies or tv shows should probably avoid this book.

The main reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars is that I thought some of the reasoning and plot points were a little simplistic. There were a lot of coincidences, and a lot of elements that I thought seemed strange enough to be unrealistic. I agree with one of the previous reviewers who said they thought it a weak point that a police officer would be sent to investigate deaths abroad. I would go further than this and say that the fact that Bronson in particular is the police officer who goes to investigate the deaths is a little strange, and in my opinion the explanation for choosing him was not very convincing. I also thought it was strange that he involved his ex-wife in what was going on, apparently without the permission or knowledge of his superiors. This was at a point when he suspected foul play with the deaths; surely he would not be allowed to involve non-police personnel in a potential murder investigation without the proper clearance? In addition, the characters seemed to work out the meanings of difficult clues very quickly, and different groups of people seemed to make the same discoveries simultaneously. That's also a bit unrealistic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but not great 25 Nov. 2009
Format:Paperback
Like James Becker's first novel involving British cop Chris Bronson, this is an easy, quick read. There is plenty of action, dead bodies, goodies and badies - all that you'd expect in the religious thriller genre. As for the plot, it is very easy to understand and there are no surprises. It is a standard romp around Morocco, Jerusalem, Qumran, and the final resting place (I won't say where so as not to spoil it), in the hunt for the missing relics. These relics, or the big secret, are certainly important and could have catastrophic implications for the Middle East if this was true instead of fiction. Things are pretty much self-explanatory and take the expected course. Characters remain the same throughout and do not change course - except for one but you can see that coming from the start.

As with the previous book in the series characterisation remains poor with little background. Characters are all rather like cardboard, and the heroes, Chris Bronson and his ex-wife Angela Lewis, need (and deserve) more fleshing out. The stilted relationship between them (Bronson wants to get back with Angela, and she's not too sure) is painful reading and adds nothing to the story. However, Bronson and Angela are agreeable and may pique my interest enough to get any future books to see how they develop. Finally, the action occasionally gets bogged down in scenes where characters discuss or explain things ad infinitum. Becker has clearly done his research but I don't think he needs to put everything into the mouths of his characters. Sometimes it felt as though the characters were giving lectures. As a previous reviewer noted, all the experts seem to be intellectually on par and they all reach the same conclusions at the same time. Angela is not supposed to be an Jewish history expert but seems to know as much as, if it not more, than her superiors.

All in all a cautiously recommended read, and the author's notes at the back are an added bonus.
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