I know--if it has something about a lost or ancient manuscript, I'm going to give it a try. The mention of the Dead Sea Scrolls removed any doubt, and as soon as I dived into it, I saw that there was also a connection to the Aleppo Codex. Even better!
(In 2012, I read The Aleppo Codex by Mattie Friedman, a nonfiction account and was blown away by the history of the codex, the mystery of its travels, the intrigues and deceptions, and the difficulties Friedman had in four year pursuit of how the codex made its way to Jerusalem. Fascinated as I was by this excellent work, I was still surprised when my husband (not much of a reader) hijacked The Aleppo Codex for himself and was just as riveted by mysteries concerning the codex.)
Shoot, I'm going to continue digressing (again), but after reading The Atlantic article about trigger warnings and microaggressions, I'm going to give Jacobson's own "trigger warning" that comes in the Acknowledgments:
I approached this book with trepidation because any time you wade into religion and/or geopolitics there's potential for someone to get offended. That was not my intention. Any religious commentaries evolved from ideas, discussions with experts, brainstorming "what if" sessions, character motivations, and dramatic potential. I was not attempting to discredit, support, proselytize, or convince. In other words, I was telling a fictitious story. That's the definition of a novel. (emphasis mine, BTW)Jacobson also lists the many experts he consulted, including mentioning Mattie Friedman's The Aleppo Codex and a few changes he made to suit the story.
The plot involves terrorist cell activity that threatens the home front of the U.S. and that are connected to a missing Dead Sea Scroll which could threaten Biblical history. From the U.S., to England, to Paris, to Israel--fast and furious action with Karen Vail, Uzi, and DeSantos, characters from previous novels, working together with a fourth, and not completely trusted, new member of the team.
From Book Series in Order: Key to the success of Alan’s books is his primary protagonist, Karen Vail, a smart, tough and funny profiler whose character is modeled from a real life FBI profiler Alan Jacobson had the privilege of working closely with over the several years he spent with the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI.
A Congressional Report about terrorism and Mexican drug cartels.
I started this draft a week or so ago. Since then, Sam at Bookchase has posted about Anne Rice's article concerning political correctness. I'm disconcerted and concerned about political correctness changing the way we look at education and educators, comedians, art, and literature. Are we going to go back and remove all politically incorrect (according to whichever group is offended) books from the library? Will it determine whose novels get published? Freedom of speech? Freedom of thought?“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
George Orwell quotes from 1984:
George Orwell quotes from 1984:
"The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty." (1.1.8) (again, emphasis mine)
"By 2050, earlier, probably – all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron – they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like ‘freedom is slavery’ when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." (1.5.30)
*I had intended to schedule this review for October, but have decided to go ahead and publish it because Jacobson's comment about fiction and the definition of a novel set me off in so many directions about the kind of censorship we need to be apprehensive about in today's world.
The novel was quite a ride, not always realistic, but full of action and several things to think about, including what is involved in Sharia Law. I enjoyed this fast-paced novel and was impressed with Jacobson's background and the experts he consulted.
UpDate: Here is the Atlantic article: The Coddling of the American Mind online.
NetGalley/Open Road Media
Political Suspense/Action. Nov. 3, 2015. Print length: 400 pages.