The Last Ember, by Daniel Levin

The Last EmberFinished 9-24-09, rating 4.5/5, thriller, pub. 2009

“The Temple Mount was surrounded by fifty thousand Roman soldiers,” he said, turning to the professor, “and the priest escaped through here, along this aqueduct.”

His flashlight revealed a narrow stone aqueduct stretching into the darkness.  It appeared to float across the dark chasm that lay on either side.

“And he took with him the one artifact that brought down a Roman emperor.”

Chapter 7

Jonathan is an archeology scholar and Rome Prize winner turned New York City lawyer.  He is sent to Rome by his firm to help them in a stolen artifacts case and he is almost immediately confronted by his ex-girlfriend and a centuries old mystery involving the world’s  three main religions.  Jonathan past study of the traitor Josephus gives him special insight into the clue this stolen artifact provides, a clue that he thinks could lead him to the Tabernacle menorah that was stolen from Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.  As he travels with his ex Emili to the Colosseum and other hot spots in Rome they follow a series of clues while the police are trying to find them.  Using Emili’s UN credentials the two race back to Jerusalem to stop the Waqf and their destruction of the what is beneath the Temple Mount.

This is a religious thriller that I compare to the da Vinci Code in only the post positive aspects.  The pace, story and setting were top notch and had a hard time putting it down.  Since our vacation to Italy last year I’ve loved reading stories that take place in Italy and this book made me want to go back and take a tour of all places Jonathan visited, but since many of them are under the city that is probably not going to happen.

It was also complicated and loaded with historical and religious facts.  The only thing that slowed down my reading at all was the multitude of knowledge that I tried to take in.  I do not normally read historical fiction, so most of this was new to me as were many of the names.   To make all of this history interesting, the plot is lightning quick and full of fantastic and seemingly far fetched occurences.  And that was okay because I loved it.

I highly recommend this if you love thrillers, historical fiction, The daVinci Code, Italy, Jerusalem, suspense, religious mysteries, or archeology.  That covers a lot of people.  Does it include you?

I attended a book signing with Daniel Levin and he will be featured in one of my 9 in ’09 interview soon.