Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Legacy of the Ninth


 On his day off, Detective Inspector William Miller Boyd goes jogging along the Vallum, close to Hadrian's Wall near his home in Cumbria.

                                                                                                      Eventually he runs out of steam, takes a rest leaning against the Roman Wall, and removes a tablet of chocolate. As he drifts off into a sleep, he dreams of the story, and recounts the story as told to him by the people he has met over recent weeks.
   Boyd recalls David, who tells us of the events of King Herod's mountain fortress in the Negev Desert: Masada.
                                                                                 Such events are now enshrined in the history of the State of Israel but Boyd sees the resemblance between Masada and Hadrian's Wall and tries to come to terms with the siege of Masada and the subsequent assault upon the desert fortress by a Roman Legion led by the brave centurion, Domitian:

The Romans overrun Masada and steal the Tablet of Masada. The artefact is handed down through the ages, through various centurions, until it ends up in the hands of the Ninth Legion and it is lost forever in the country of Brigante.

      Centuries later, the Tablet of Masada is discovered and an attempt is made to restore it to its rightful owners.  But somewhere in the desert an assassin has dedicated himself to the Five Pillars of Islam. He prays, day by day, five times a day, for the strength to accomplish the task ahead.

As the story unfolds, it becomes obvious that Britain's attempt to return the Tablet of Masada to the people of Israel is under threat.

 Boyd's challenge is to work out why Masada, Hadrian's Wall, Islam, and a tablet the size of a chocolate bar are so inter-connected that the Middle East peace process is in danger of collapsing and the county is alive with terrorists and spies.

Indeed, the very  fabric of peace is being torn as the assassins come face to face with the history of the Jewish people.

Review = An intelligent exposition of historic fiction at its very best. A quite brilliant and well crafted multi genre tale that takes the reader on an incredible journey from the Ist century to the 20th century. Set in Masada, in the Middle East, the author tackles issues of religious conflict from the days of King Herod to the present day problem of Islamic extremism, and carefully weaves the work into the 20th century before leaving the reader breathless: This is a slow burner that gradually explodes - page by page - A master craftsman at work.... Five stars....

This is an intelligent, multi layered intriguing read with a flash of awe in the writing. A story that will grip you to the last page and beyond and perhaps, on route, explain the complexities of the Middle East peace process. Historic fiction mixed with espionage and mystery at its very best. Available in print and kindle

Click the book on the Carousel entitled The Paul Anthony Collection at the top of the page or to the right of the screen to be taken directly to the Kindle store. 

Paul Anthony