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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable mystery thriller!
A piece of parchment is traded in the markets of Cairo. It appears no different from countless others that are sold and bought, often under the counter, in a country steeped in history and archaeological remains. But this fragment has been hunted for centuries, not least by the highest levels of the Vatican, and when a dealer buys it his research triggers a race to...
Published 9 months ago by Kate

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Vatican and yet another secret...
I am really glad the author added extensive info in the Author's Note on some of the subject matters in the book. A lot of the scenarios are presented as fact and I actually made a few notes to myself to research quite a few of them, such as Propaganda Due/P2, Roberto Calvi and the death of Pope John Paul I.
I would also like to know where he got the statistics for...
Published 6 months ago by Cheryl M-M


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable mystery thriller!, 12 Nov 2013
By 
Kate (Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Lost Testament (Paperback)
A piece of parchment is traded in the markets of Cairo. It appears no different from countless others that are sold and bought, often under the counter, in a country steeped in history and archaeological remains. But this fragment has been hunted for centuries, not least by the highest levels of the Vatican, and when a dealer buys it his research triggers a race to recover it. The race leaves in its wake a bloody trail but in pursuit are Angela Lewis, a British Museum expert on 1st century AD pottery, and her ex-husband Chris Bronson, a policeman from Kent. Quite apart from having to avoid violent injury and death from a host of baddies on a hunt across much of Europe and North Africa, Angela and Chris are determined to uncover the reason behind this madness - what does the parchment mean and why is the Vatican so intent on finding it that it would kill to do so?

I am a big fan of mystery thrillers. Escapism is no bad thing at all and, for me, they provide perfect pageturning relief as I move between reads of different genres. Finding writers of good quality mystery thrillers is another matter entirely and while there are some I can always rely on (for example: Simon Toyne, AM Dean, Scott Mariani, Andy McDermott, James Rollins, James Douglas, Dean Crawford, David Gibbins, Jeremy Robinson, Patrick Lee plus the much-missed Michael Crichton and Paul Sussman), it is always good to discover others. I am so glad I read The Lost Testament because now I can add James Becker to the list. As soon as I finished this thriller, I attacked Becker's backlist and read The Moses Stone and The Messiah Secret back-to-back and have three others ready to go.

Obviously, with a thriller such as this you have to suspend all powers of disbelief. You also have to expect a succession of cliffhanging chapters and twists. As a result, I'm telling you no more of the plot here except to say that the story as it unravels is extremely satisfying and ridiculously exciting! I was glued to The Lost Testament. It's not a short novel but I read it extremely quickly, resenting anything that kept me from it. It features great locations (as do all Becker's books that I've read), recreated with a lot of realistic colour and detail, and the two heroes - Angela and Chris - are hugely likeable, as a couple with issues and as individuals. They are divorced but clearly this is a relationship in need of fixing itself and this tenderness and care adds a very human and attractive element to the story. Their fragile love for each other is an interesting contrast to the robust relationships (or fiercely single individuals) depicted in other thrillers.

The baddies in The Lost Testament and in the other Becker novels are not entirely straightforward - at least some of them are not. There are reasons for the things they do. They're nasty but they're intriguingly nasty.

When all is said and done, The Lost Testament is a thrilling pageturner. It features the Vatican up to no good but I am delighted to say that this is no Dan Brown book. James Becker is a far better writer in my opinion and although he places us in a similar world of religious conspiracies and dark secrets he does it in a much more readable manner, with main characters that are both appealing and realistic. Clearly, you have to expect to raise an eyebrow or two - how does Bronson get so much time off work and why is the British Museum such a lethal place in which to work? - but if you give in to it and let the fast pace, the exciting plot, the likeable leads and the spot on prose carry you away then you may well have as fabulous a time with this book as I did. I'm very grateful for the review copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Vatican and yet another secret..., 23 Feb 2014
By 
Cheryl M-M (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I am really glad the author added extensive info in the Author's Note on some of the subject matters in the book. A lot of the scenarios are presented as fact and I actually made a few notes to myself to research quite a few of them, such as Propaganda Due/P2, Roberto Calvi and the death of Pope John Paul I.
I would also like to know where he got the statistics for the rise in atheism, falling numbers in Christian/Catholics ect. Just from a personal point of view it would be interesting to know whether there is a direct link to those numbers and events in the last few decades or to the actual lack of evidence.
The plot is good, although I did feel as if the actual revelation of the contents was drawn out longer than it should have been. There was far too much showing rather than telling. There is no need for each individual movement in a scene to be documented. Readers have enough imagination to fill in the obvious blanks. The writing needs to be more fluid and less staccato and report like.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: The Lost Testament (Paperback)
If you like this sort of book, get it well worth a good holiday book
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must for holiday reading., 8 Jun 2014
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Another great adventure, with plentry of twists, from James Becker featuring his regular duo of Chris and Angela. More please James!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Another history book, 16 May 2014
By 
Mr. C. Evans "Sean Dillon" (Mid-Glam, Sth Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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But its not. I found it difficult at first but after the second chapter it started making sense (not like me now)!! I didn't want to enjoy it at first but I couldn't help it. Not bad not bad at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read this is the second James Becker novel I have read and I will look forward to reading more, 14 May 2014
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Cannot wait to read more from this author could not put the book down,cracking read. I have downloaded the next. Bronson and Lewis adventure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great escapism novel, 26 April 2014
The Lost Testament by James Becker is one of those edge of the seat thrillers that you can’t put down, a la Dan Brown. Perhaps not as detailed or intricate as some of this type of thriller, but certainly the pace is kept up. The story flows effortlessly between Cairo and London and you can feel the rising panic in the pages as the plot progresses. A great escapism novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, 18 April 2014
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The only shame about a James Becker novel like this one is that it's all over too quickly, once you start reading it you can't put it down. And then when you finish it you simply want more. It's a long preamble until we pick up Angela Lewis for the first time, but it paints a great picture. Throughout you just want to know 'what could be so damaging to the church?' and the fast paced action is superb. You do wonder sometimes how Chris Bronson always seems to make the right call but it doesn't diminish anything from what is another great read. And I love that, although it's a novel, there is a basis of fact which I then spend ages "checking out". Can't wait for the next one, hopefully later this year. Please.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Review of The Lost Testament, 8 Feb 2014
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Like the other books of James Becker this is worth a read. A good believable plot and character's based in real history. Very hard to put down though :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Testament, 25 Jan 2014
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A good story, well written about the immaculate conception and the organisation called Lodge P2.
The writer has included a plausible plot, which keeps the story interesting.
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The Lost Testament
The Lost Testament by James Becker (Paperback - 7 Nov 2013)
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