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The Seven Stars [Kindle Edition]

Simon Leighton-Porter
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 338 pages
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Book Description

A serial killer stalks the first-century Roman Empire: his victims, followers of the man they call The Christ.

In 21st century Britain, former MI6 agent turned Oxford academic, Flora Kemble is invited to help at an archaeological dig in Pompeii. She stumbles onto a secret that could shake Western civilization to its roots. What follows show she’s not the only one with an interest.

The hunter becomes the hunted and very soon Flora is running for her life as a two thousand year-old conspiracy spreads its deadly tentacles into the modern age, unleashing a trail of deceit, violence and death reaching to the very soul of the American nation.

The greatest deception of all time is about to be unmasked…

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 644 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Mauve Square Publishing; 1 edition (5 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096QIWCC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #157,640 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Simon grew up in Sussex. After graduating from Southampton University with a degree in economics, he spent sixteen years in the Royal Air Force and was the first RAF pilot to fly the Mirage 2000 on operations over Iraq while on exchange with the French Air Force. Leaving the Service with the rank of Squadron Leader, he worked in the City of London as a derivatives broker and in various technology roles before becoming a director of a financial software company. He also provides consultancy and software development services to a small group of global financial institutions and is a regular speaker on the international conference circuit.

His passion for history, languages and archaeology have come together to create Flora Kemble, Oxford University palaeographer and heroine of his first novel, The Seven Stars, an adult thriller that weaves a tale of deception and murder stretching from ancient Rome to the present day.

Simon's second book, The Manhattan Deception, is now available on Kindle and in paperback. His most recent novel, Death to Bankers - a sequel to The Minerva System - is out on Kindle and will shortly be available in paperback.

Simon is a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and splits his time between work in the UAE and a far more relaxing time with his wife, Wendy - also a Mauve Square author - with their two cats at home in south-west France.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great fun following a character from Roman times and how his actions have impact in the modern world. Two parallel stories running with 2,000 years between them, but both directly related. I enjoyed reading it a lot.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Simon cleverly weaves the threads of a two thousand year-old unresolved mystery into a masterly thriller when a young woman palaeolographer offers to help record and translate the recently uncovered writings of a Roman ne'er-do-well that promise to give unimagined insight into Mediterranean history. When they go missing Flora gets caught up in a fast moving sequence of events that involve not only the academic world, the local Camorra and Italian Art Police, but also international players in the FBI. With her life in danger, surrounded by corruption and deceit, it seems odds are so stacked against her that determination to get to the truth seems sure to end in tragedy. Well-written and far more believable than 'The Da Vinci Code', Simon's novel is a must for those who enjoy mystery thrillers... and looking forward to the movie, guys!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable, Gripping, Impossible to Put Down 30 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As soon as I picked this book up, I knew I wouldn't be able to put it down. It's one of those books that makes you say, 'Just one more chapter', even late at night. The author weaves his tale over 2000 years; a gripping thriller in the present day inseparably linked to a bloody tale of treachery and revenge in the first century AD. The historical sections are as fascinating as the main plot; Mr Leighton-Porter brings the ancient past alive in a way I have never seen before. Apart from his obvious depth of knowledge of the languages of the period, the author skilfully brings the past to life.

His characters are so plausible; not the polished, contrived, faultless agents we normally find in modern fiction. You might expect this book to be another Da Vinci code. Indeed it is in a similar mould, but I found it far more readable and credible. The plot evolves at a comfortable pace and will certainly keep you guessing, right up to the final page, where you will see how the years after the death of Christ came to affect events today.

Murder, mystery, betrayal, an emperor's sadistic madness, the Mafia and a somewhat unwilling heroin. The ingredients are all here. If you only buy one book this year, make it this one.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just above dire. 27 Mar. 2013
By Alex
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading glowing 5-star reviews, I was prepared for this to be a good read. Unfortunately, it turned out to be poor, with a decent pinch of ridiculous. The historical elements were decent, which brought the book up from the complete pits to something tolerable in short bursts.

Our heroine, Flora, is not only stunningly beautiful, the best paleographer in the world, fluent in multiple languages, and an ex-secret agent, but is also the only person who can help the FBI solve a case of mass art theft spanning many years and multiple countries. Of course, she can put down anyone who challenges her with witty retorts, and her only flaw is her oh-so-endearing stubbornness. Unlikable and unrealistic- I have no problem suspending my disbelief, but give me someone I can relate to at least.

Half developed plot lines (the romance with the archaeologist, the policeman, then the agent)serving no purpose, Flora's wild mood swings (from anger to playful to sobbing in around, oh, three lines)and ending the book wishing the crazies really had managed to burn her at the stake, this is a great book if you're looking for a laugh/light read/kindling. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to forgo sleep until you finish this one! 26 Sept. 2012
By Darkowl
Format:Kindle Edition
If I could give this book 6 stars instead of 5, I would. The Seven Stars is an intelligent thriller full of twists and turns that features a likeable but flawed protagonist and is packed full of historical detail. Simon Leighton-Porter weaves a tale of the past and the present skilfully. The action is plausible, the characters well-developed and the plot was riveting enough to keep me up well past my bedtime. I look forward to reading the author's second book and recommend The Seven Stars to all fans of historical thrillers who appreciate an edge of your seat adventure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag 5 April 2014
By Nick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really wanted to enjoy this book. Ultimately I struggled to finish it.

The historical passages were well written, bringing the period to life. The idea of intertwining the past and present was well worked. Unfortunately the protagonist, Flora Kemble was simply unrealistic.

I am not sure if this was self-published (and I admire anyone who does that) but the book really really needed the tough love of an editor. Parts of the story just rambled, parts felt unnecessary and parts just needed tightening up. Having said that where it worked it worked very well, with excellent dialogue and great balanced story telling. Seeing what the book could have been made it an even more frustrating read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Da Vinci Code for those who like prose 26 Aug. 2013
By Mike
The plot line of The Seven Stars has something of the Da Vinci Code about it but the similarities end there. Leighton-Porter's prose is considerably more crystalline than Brown's and, unlike Brown, he takes the effort to explain sufficient rudimentary code theory to allow the reader to follow the plot. The plot is very well paced although like Beckett he occasionally has some difficulty getting the characters on and off 'stage' elegantly. The characterization is generally excellent although I felt more could have been made of Flora's 'past' to add depth and explain some of her obvious fieldcraft. Also unlike the Da Vinci Code there is a rye humour in much of the dialogue.
My only reservation was some of Emperor Nero's dialogue - his character is very well portrayed - dangerous but occasionally likeable madman - but the decision to give modern slang speech idioms to the ruler of most of the known world jarred slightly.

Overall an extremely enjoyable novel - it is very well researched and intelligently written and the pace will keep the reader turning the pages.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read & made you think.
Published 2 months ago by Steve
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book
Published 2 months ago by jen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
this is a good read
Published 2 months ago by marie gospel
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting blend of ancient and modern thriller
We have a dual storyline running through this book, on one side a modern day blend of archaeology, espionage and religious extremism and on the other the tale of Josephus during... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit like Dan Brown
A story line with 2 strands - modern day & the Roman Empire around 70 AD focusing on the early Christianity movement. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Michael Foster
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 11 months ago by Clive Westfield
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Story
I very much enjoyed this book as it moved between history and present day from chapter to chapter. A great balance of historical fact mixed with a decent blend of fiction makes... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Hisboss
5.0 out of 5 stars The Seven Stars
Interesting twist on the bible and Jesus held my attention. At times I could not put it down. I have noted the author
Published 16 months ago by Alexander Brown Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting alternative interpretation of BC/AD changeover happenings
A well researched and enjoyable read with 2 intertwined stories which link both the modern and ancient world using an archaeological dig in a way to help explain the discovery and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by simonb
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven Stars
I enjoyed this book and read it pretty much in one go on a long coach journey. It's a complex tale told over a 2000 year time span and, despite the short chapters, I found it... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mike Lima
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