« Nobody Gets the Girl | Main | Three Days In New York City »

The Acts Of Judas

Author: Georgiann Baldino
Genre: Mystery
Reviewed by: Kevin Tipple

WhooDoo Mysteries

Cover artFor archeologist Linda Rhodes, it seems that everyone and everything is conspiring against her and the expedition she leads in the Jordanian desert. The attacks of September 11, 2001 have yet to happen but the old blood feuds, religious hatreds and distrust that fuel everything in the Middle East continue unabated. Her expedition has been attacked by the weather, a camel spider, food poisoning, deliberate stupidity by some expedition members and a host of other problems. Still, she persevered in her search despite all obstacles, including the sudden arrival of the Jordanian Police and a minister, Dr. Fawzi, to investigate the latest problems that have occurred.

While the police take away a large group of her expedition for questioning, Dr. Fawzi and his bodyguard assistants are still present when the expedition finds the object they have been searching the desert for these past many weeks. Buried in a cave, a relic that seems to be a scroll written by Judas explaining his actions is found sealed in a jar. Beyond determining that the ancient text, which will need extensive work to be translated, seems to be consistent for the time period, little more is determined before Dr Fawzi wields his considerable governmental authority and takes possession of the artifact.

His plans to move the artifact to Amman for study and safe keeping, away from outside influences, are quickly thwarted by the arrival of gun-toting terrorists. After removing the token resistance permanently, they take the artifact and vanish into the desert. In the resulting aftermath, as an investigation in this matter is conducted by the Jordanian government, Linda is captured by members of the same terrorist group. They need a translator and have decided she is to be their translator. If she refuses they will execute her. She knows once she finishes they will execute her. But in the meantime, she has a chance to work with the ancient scroll and attempt to translate a document that will fundamentally change mankind's understanding of the history of the Middle East.

On one level this is a thriller featuring chase and adventure across the Middle East, along with a hint of romance. On another level, this is a complex work that provides a deep insight into the religious differences in the region that shape behavior and politics still today. Using her extensive research into various religions via a number of sources, the author explains the religious and cultural history of a large portion of the Middle East while at the same time telling an engrossing story. This is not something that is an easy thing to do, but in this case, the teaching and the fiction blend almost seamlessly together. In so doing, the author has created a read that is a very good book and leaves the reader with plenty to think about after turning the last page.


January 31, 2005 in Mystery | Permalink


The comments to this entry are closed.