Friday, June 6, 2008

The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes

Title - The Sacred Bones
Author -Michael Byrnes
ISBN - 978-0-06-123390-6
Genre- thriller
Number of pages- 386
rating 3.75 out of 5

I have to admit that fiction and thriller books that contain religious themes often trouble me. As a clergy person I am acutely aware of the misuse of biblical text to substantiate religious claims that can lead the reader to think that these claims are truth. This bias declared I found that I quite enjoyed The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes.

A bold and violent crime occurs in the heart of Jerusalem where Christian, Islamic, and Jewish faiths intersect. A secret vault hidden beneath Temple Mount for centuries has been plundered of ancient artefacts and thirteen Israeli police and soldiers are killed.

American forensic scientist Charlotte Hennesey is invited by the Vatican to join Giovanni Bersei, an Italian anthropologist to examine the bones from a recently unearthed burial box. As Charlotte and Giovanni try to unlock the secret of the ancient bones they find themselves caught up in the sinister plans of religious fanatics and cold blooded killers which threaten to ignite the explosive atmosphere of the Middle East.

Michael Byrnes has written a taut thriller that accurately portrays the tensions found in the Middle East. He combines biblical dilemmas with modern day archaeology and the vast knowledge that can be garnered by forensic science.. The novel is fast paced, action driven from the start, and the plot well executed. I found, however, that some of the characters were a bit stereotypical and needed more rounding out. Overall the book is a good read. Readers who enjoy thrillers with religious overtones will enjoy this book.

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