The Messiah Secret
AD 72: A band of warriors march across a mountainous wasteland. Only they know what they carry. And once they've reached their destination, they must all die to protect it.
AD 2010: In a crumbling mansion deep in the English countryside a piece of ancient parchment has been found. Written in arcane code is the answer to a mystery that has explosive implications.
Enter Chris Bronson. Determined to solve the mystery that has puzzled scholars and thinkers for nearly two millennia, he embarks on a journey to one of the most remote and hostile parts of the world.
But someone is following him.
Someone desperate to protect the centuries-old secret. And who is far more dangerous than he could ever have imagined...
Becker gathers many familiar elements of the religious artifact subgenre and reshuffles them into an entertaining, hunt-and-chase thriller that races from the English countryside to a hidden valley in the Middle East. Angela Lewis, a British Museum ceramics conservator, persuades her ex-husband with whom she remains friendly, police detective Chris Bronson, to join her at Carfax Hall, the Suffolk estate of recently murdered minor aristocrat Oliver Wendell-Carfax, who has willed his collection of antiques and ancient relics to the museum. At the hall, the pair uncover clues that point to an ancient treasure, one that Angela and Bronson have searched for in two earlier books, The First Apostle and The Moses Stone. A mad priest, who doesn't want the treasure to be found, and a greedy industrialist, who desires it for economic gain, make trouble. Appealing and clever protagonists coupled with intriguing history set this above the average Dan Brown clone.