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on 8 August 2012
The first outing of Jamie Saintclair had me singing his praise as the new man on the block in the world of mystery/thrillers and i was looking forward to The Isis Covenant to move on to greater heights and boy did we fly high.Once again James Douglas uses his passion and quality research to again weave a tale that had me page turning into the early hours of the morning.Saintclair is once again on the trail of a long lost artefact, The Crown of Isis,that was once part of the Treasure of Queen Dido of Carthage, that was reputed to grant its wearer immortality.Saintclair receives an unexpected phone call from Brooklyn detective Danny Fisher.Two families have been brutally murdered,one in New York,the other in London.The only link is a shared name,that of a German art theif who disappeared at the end of war.As Saintclair and Fisher will discover,for the promise of eternal life there are those who would kill and kill again.With The Doomsday Testament James Douglas set the bar high,but with The Isis Covenant he has just raised it again and i for one can not wait to see how high the next Jamie Saintclair adventure will go.
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There are a few authors who are known for a series or genre but also like to have fun in another area. Douglas Jackson produces excellent novels set in Roman times, but here with a tweak of his name he is having some fun in the ancient relic escapade game.

The tale here is about an ancient relic, The Eye of Isis and it's alleged powers that someone wants to get hold of. Cue dodgy Nazis, an ancient sisterhood, a sinister murderer and so on. Our hero Jamie Saintclair joins up with a female (of course!) FBI agent to avoid various killers and track down the Eye.

The author is having fun here and it would be rude not to just jump on for the ride. Yep you have to suspend belief a little but you do expect to and yes, Saintclair is a little too clever and talented, but there is a plot here and some very good backstory set in WW2 Berlin. Initially it felt very much run of the mill but the backstory kind of saved it and drew me in to keep turning the pages. Reminded me a bit of James Becker's stuff which is quite similar and it's a style and book that you have to go with the flow on, and just enjoy.
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VINE VOICEon 6 July 2014
The Nazi preoccupation with mythic artefacts and places is a genuine historical fact and an endless source of inspiration for thriller writers. When done well..."Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a standout example..this can be a rich vein for storytellers. And Nazis are ready made villains. Sometime the sheer bizarre oddness , and of course the genuine evil, of the real life events and characters are difficult for fiction to match.

In this fast moving and entertaining book, an English academic (Jamie Saintclair) teams up with a US detective (Danny Fisher) to investigate modern day murders connected to two Egyptian magical relics, the Crown and Eye of Isis, the Nazis looted in WW2.

The historical settings are well researched and the story hangs together and retains the reader's interest. The two main characters are not especially memorable but the fast pace ensures the book's 470+ pages don't drag.

There is a rather reactive sense to the adventure as a whole with the two heroes reacting to events somewhat. The closing scene, where Saintclair just happens to mention the word "brother" is an example of this. Surely a stronger ending would have involved Saintclair or Fisher investigating the villain, finding out about his family etc and then talking to him about his brother by judgement rather than luck ?

Part of a series of adventure books, but this one is self contained (more or less.)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 August 2012

The second in this series of books based around art recovery expert Jamie Sinclair. Book one the Doomsday testament The Doomsday Testament was a massive and wonderful surprise. There are so many thrillers of this type on the market but so many fall short of being a great thriller. Something of the quality of an early Jack Higgins WW2 thriller. Doomsday Testament was an equal to those books and doubly so because it was a debut thriller.
Great debuts are always a double edged sword, is it a flash in the pan? can it be equalled or beaten by book two?
Thankfully for me, you and James Douglas yes he can equal it, in fact it beats book one for suspense, action, adventure, intrigue and story.

As in doomsday testament, the Isis Covenant blends the modern world with World War 2, add in a nice dose of Ancient history with the central aim being the recovery of the Crown of Dido. A legendary item hunted by Tyrants through the ages for its alleged ability to hold the answer to life/ Death.
Our Hero Jamie has a price on his head, is it from his recent past and his butting heads with the remnants of the Nazi Regime? Who is the evil force killing people in such a gruesome fashion? What are they looking for? will they find it? and if they do what terrifying outcome will come to pass? I'm not giving away the plot, you need to buy the book to find out. But its Sooooo worth doing so.

As with book one the characters are so well written, so real and alive and this is no surprise because James Douglas is the pseudonym of one of my favourite historical writers none other than Douglas Jackson. Writer of so many fantastic books. It also answers why the history of these books is so real and vivid.

Caligula (Rufus 1)Claudius (Rufus 2) Hero of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens 1)Defender of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens 2)
And once you have managed to work your way through the fantastic feast above there is also the latest in the Verrens series Avenger of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens 3)

The only thing wrong with this book is that they didn't do it in Hardback.
This is a must read book, one not to miss.

Very Highly Recommended

Product description:

AD 64 - Roman centurion Marcus Domitus leads an expedition to find the mythical treasure hidden deep inside Queen Dido's temple.

AD 1945 - In the confusion and chaos of a burning Berlin, two high-powered Nazis disappear, and so does a precious object.

AD 2009 - Two families are brutally tortured and murdered in Boston and London, the crimes linked by a single name and a shared history.

Art recovery specialist Jamie Saintclair receives a call from a Boston detective, asking for his help to investigate a brutal murder. She believes Saintclair might hold the key to solving the crime through his detailed knowledge of specialist Nazi units. But as they delve deeper into the sinister world of the occult, they uncover a dark secret that men have lusted over for more than two millennia. Long ago, in the ancient temple of Isis, something was stolen, and the repercussions have resonated through the centuries. Saintclair must discover the truth before the curse claims more victims, and finally catches up with him
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on 16 August 2013
This book is immediately gripping and moves from chapter to chapter - a serious page turner.
Some of the premise is totally unbelievable ( and never truly followed up) but I can't mention it as it would be a major spoiler alert.
Nonetheless if you suspend belief as you would in a Dan Brown book- it's entertaining and enjoyable.

However I found the last few chapters too unbelievable - in that a major character suddenly acts completely against type.
To do this to make the plot work was a step too far for me.
Also - I found the conclusion feeble and disappointing.
I felt almost as if there were a final chapter of explanations missing.

I don't mean to say it isn't a good engaging read to that point - just that the ending let me down.
That is only my view and you may enjoy the ending.
On that basis I would recommend it to a friend, but with reservations.
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on 18 September 2013
My second review of a James Douglas book and I can't really think of anything else to say other than suberb.
No spoilers from me, read it - you will not be disappointed.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 July 2012
James Douglas made his thriller debut last year with The Doomsday Testament, a fine novel which pitted British art dealer Jamie Saintclair against neo-Nazis in a gripping and horrifying chase across Europe and Tibet to recover a lost Raphael painting and so much more besides. I am delighted to see Jamie, one of the most likeable and amusing heroes you could meet in such dire circumstances, back again in the follow-up novel The Isis Covenant.

The Isis Covenant makes use of one of the most successful and fascinating aspects of The Doomsday Testament - parallel mysteries in the present day and in the Second World War, in this case, during the very closing days of the war, in a tortured Berlin. We're used to nasty Nazis in thrillers but in these two novels there is much more to it than that, not least because of the brilliant descriptions of Berlin and the desperation, fear and evil that pushed these men on while the bombs fall and bullets fly around them. James Douglas is the pseudonym of one of my favourite historical writers - Douglas Jackson - and so it comes as no surprise that he can bring the history around these characters to life.

The Isis Covenant focuses on the pursuit of men both good and bad to find the crown of Dido, a wonder lost to history by the Phoenicians and much later abused by Nazi treasure hunters and torturers. What complicates matters is the gap in the crown's front. This once held the largest diamond ever seen, a legendary gem, known to some as the Eye of Isis. If the Eye and the crown are again united then its power would be revealed but only, so the villains believe, with the spilling of young and innocent blood. The pursuit of the crown and the diamond results in horrors in both 1945 and in the present day as well as in the distant past when Nero was one of the first tyrants to hunt this gift that just may hold the answer to death itself.

Jamie Saintclair is still suffering from the consequences of his previous adventure, not least a price on his head. When (female) New York detective Danny Fisher offers this infamous discoverer of lost artefacts the job of helping her to solve the riddles surrounding the brutal and horrid murders of two families (both called Hartmann) on either side of the Pond, he grabs the chance to keep one step ahead of the men on his trail. Of course, they're not the only ones. As with The Doomsday Code, there is a charismatic and utterly terrifying baddie following his own trail and savage plan towards the same goal. The paths will cross. And that's not counting the Russians.

Jamie Saintclair is as agreeable a hero as ever but this time he is partnered with an equally interesting and much more-rounded heroine - tough, brave but wary Danny. There are other intriguing characters here, some of whom are surprisingly likeable. There are several strands of story, set in the present day and in 1945, and you need your wits about you to keep all the threads untangled - just what I want in a thriller. The action moves around the countries too and I especially enjoyed the scenes set in past and present Berlin and in modern Switzerland.

The descriptions are vivid, the action is taut and there is frightening brutality, offset by the appealing Jamie and Danny. All in all, this series of thrillers has great ingredients and I can't read them fast enough. With The Isis Covenant, James Douglas - aka the wonderful Roman historical fiction writer Douglas Jackson - has built on the both impressive and enjoyable strengths of The Doomsday Testament and produced a corker of a thriller.
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on 24 April 2013
i was disappointed by this after enjoying tthe author's first book. i ploughed on to the end but only after several weeks between starting and finnishing. i did not rate it as one i could not put down. however i feel there is potential there and I will consider buying the next in the series.
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on 3 August 2015
Another brilliant story by James Douglas. He takes you on an exhilerating and somewhat historical (in some respects!) story with so many twists and turns you are kept guessing right until the very end, Looking forward to the next one. Each of these is always entirely different..
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on 20 August 2014
Cracking read, only put it down for sleeping, shopping and the washing up. Part of a gripping trilogy. My history lessons crept into the story which added tp the enjoyment. Great ending!
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