Reviewer Steve Moore: Steve is a full-time writer and ex-scientist. Besides his many technical publications, he has written six sci-fi thrillers (one a novel for young adults), many short stories, and frequent comments on writing and the digital revolution in publishing. His interests also include physics, mathematics, genetics, robotics, forensics, and scientific ethics. Follow Here for his WEBSITE.
Author: Bob Adamov
Author: Bob Adamov
Here’s another great Indiana-Jones/Da-Vinci-Code-style adventure, and it’s arrived on my Kindle just when I thought I’d seen the last of them. Many readers still enjoy a good tale along these lines. I do too, if it’s done well. H. Rider Haggard could do it well. Dan Brown at least receives credit for reviving this adventure subgenre while managing to infuriate Catholic orthodoxy. Problems occur when readers, or authors, start taking these books too seriously.
Bob Adamov’s investigative journalist Emerson Moore (no relation) is much more believable than Dan Brown’s Harvard professor. The larger-than-life characterization might trouble a few readers, but I enjoyed the swashbuckling and somewhat ingenious Emerson Moore and his nemesis (who the latter works for is one of the nice twists) as they both follow the clues that lead them to the Nazarene’s code (contents never completely divulged). The settings and clues were carefully researched as near as I could tell—Masonic symbols are not as prevalent as in some books in this subgenre (and not a Gnostic reference was to be had).
Adamov spins a good yarn, complete with blond bombshell that moves far beyond your average Bond girl. No surprise—the author is out to entertain you, the reader, and had fun stirring up a great adventure. While the characters are complex, events in the novel are black (at times, graphically so, particularly in torture scenes) or white (at times, the unrequited romance is John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara syrupy)—there are shades of gray, but not fifty of them. Except for the clever twists, don’t look for subtlety.
I had more problems with the many scenes of showering, dining, and drinking. Some readers will delight in these—one can argue that they are an essential part of the adventure and allow us to savor all the mystery and romance of strange and exotic venues (there are also many of those). Emerson Moore is tempted to better Ian Fleming’s James Bond in his pursuit of hedonistic delights—that he can’t fulfill his desires perhaps adds to the appeal of the character.
Some other nits to pick: Why repeat the torture scene at the beginning almost word for word later on? I would have used it for a hook (although it’s very gruesome) and stopped where Moore becomes unconscious. Later on, we could rejoin the action at that point. There are also a few copy editing errors sprinkled throughout. (I’ll only mention one, writing Columbia instead of Colombia for the country. I find this particularly irksome because of my background.) Most readers will forgive these errors and just enjoy the storytelling.
I reviewed the book in ebook format—a paper version will soon be available. If you like this kind of adventure, check this book out. There are also other Emerson Moore books available. I’ll probably take a look at these because they’re probably also fun to read. I can hear that Emerson Moore theme song! It sounds like Indiana Jones’.
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