Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Last Sicarius by Van R. Mayhall Jr.

This novel is the sequel to Judas The Apostle (see my review of that book here), starting exactly where the earlier novel ended. While there is some back story given I would certainly recommend you read the first novel. So much of this novel depends on the information and action in the first novel, I doubt one could really enjoy this one on its own.

Judas The Apostle dealt with finding an ancient jar containing a manuscript. Dr. Clotile Lejeune's father had happened upon a collection of ancient jars during WW II when he tumbled into a cave in northern Africa. He had kept one. Upon his death, Cloe, her son, and some from the Vatican faced great danger in order to maintain possession the jar and uncover its contents.

In this novel, Cloe is called to the Vatican and is given the task of finding the rest of the jars. While the powerful man who opposed Cloe in the first novel is dead, his successor is every bit as ruthless. He will stop at nothing to gain the collection of jars for himself.

In a sense, this novel is a repeat of the first one. A few new characters are introduced and there is a surprising twist near the end, but the plot is pretty much the same.

As with the first novel, there is a good amount of interesting archaeological and historical information in the novel. We read about Masada, first about Herod building it and then about the Jewish rebels making their last stand there. While it was thought all the rebels had died at Masada, there were some that survived. Known as the Sicarii, they have, through the centuries, protected the ancient manuscripts stored in the jars. The hunt for the jars is intense as there is a possibility they might contain writings from the time of Christ that may change our understanding of Christianity.

The end of this novel leaves us with a surprise revelation. I am sure there will be a sequel. I look forward to reading it.

I recommend this novel to those who love adventure and suspense with its roots in early Christian history. The novel is action packed and very informative. But do read Judas the Apostle first to get the entire background on the jars and their significance.

You can find out more about the book at the author's website.

Van R. Mayhall Jr. is the senior partner in a Baton Rouge, Louisiana law firm where he practices corporate and business law and handles selected litigation. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, he was educated at Louisiana State University and Georgetown University.

iUniverse, 372 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through NetGalley for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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