An ancient secret threatens to unleash a modern war in this international-bestselling “thriller on par with the best literature out there” (James Rollins).
Jerusalem, 70 AD: As the invading Romans destroy the Holy Temple, a young Jewish boy is hidden away—chosen as the guardian of a great secret. And for seventy generations, the secret is kept safe . . .
But now, in order to ignite a new conflict between Israel and the Arab world, a Jewish radical is prepared to reveal what has been hidden for centuries. The only ones who can stop the coming bloodshed are a beautiful young Palestinian journalist and two detectives—one Israeli, one Egyptian—in an unlikely alliance.
As their separate searches for the truth intertwine, they discover there are some in this war-torn region who believe true peace can only be found in death . . .
Full of the detail and in-depth knowledge only a bestselling author and true-life archaeologist could deliver, this is a “tightly-plotted, richly-observed, thought-provoking thriller” (Raymond Khoury).
“Sussman, an archeologist, puts in plenty of satisfying twists and turns, and grounds the story in the violence and intrigue of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” —Publishers Weekly
A bestseller overseas, Sussman's follow-up to The Lost Army of the Cambyses opens at Jerusalem's Holy Temple in the year 70, jumps to doomed WWII German prison camp inmates dragging a Nazi-purloined holy relic down an abandoned coal shaft and then fast-forwards to present-day Egypt. There, Det. Insp. Yusef Ezz el-Din Khalifa of the Luxor police investigates the murder of an old man whose body has been found at an archeological site in the Valley of the Kings. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Palestinian journalist Layla al-Madani and Israeli police detective Arieh Ben-Roi have their own sad histories and complicated lives to deal with. Eventually, Sussman twines all the threads into one, and the three principals are hard on the trail of the mysterious artifact hidden by the prisoners. There are familiar Da Vinci Code elements, but Sussman, an archeologist, puts in plenty of satisfying twists and turns, and grounds the story in the violence and intrigue of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.