PyramidBook - 2014
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Under the heading “manly men doing manly things manfully” comes the next title in the Jack Howard series from David Gibbins. Gibbins takes his intimate professional knowledge of underwater archaeology and mixes it with a genuine interest in historical mysteries – the lost city of Troy, Atlantis, and the wealth of legends provided by ancient Egypt – turning both these passions into gripping novels of adventure and discovery.
In this latest installment, Gibbins takes recent events into account, melding the political and religious instability of the Middle East into a tale of a mythical great treasure, a treasure dating back to the Exodus - when Moses led the Israelites to safety by parting the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptian armies that pursued them. Except… Gibbins opens his novel with an alternate version of this miracle, one based in faith, but not exactly divine. The truth of this miracle is known to only two men in 1343 BC, and it is the truth that Jack Howard is determined to uncover in present day Egypt.
Naturally there are obstacles in his way, like the present political climate being unfriendly to westerners, the usual bureaucratic red tape, and elements that are, shall we say, a little more sinister. Both sides are basing their optimism on the unusual tale of a man, who in 1892, claimed to have witnessed something extraordinary beneath the surface sands of Giza – a claim dismissed by his peers as the ravings of a mind struck mad by the harsh Egyptian sun. Both sides race to uncover the treasure – Jack in the interests of truth and the other eager to determine if this might be weaponized and be used to their own gain.
For fans of history and adventure alike, there is no one better than David Gibbins. (I’ve found no indication that Hollywood has optioned Gibbins’ books and tapped the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal to play Jack Howard, but I’d get on that if I were Mr. Abrams.)
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