Becker, James - 'The Messiah Secret'
The third novel by James Becker, THE MESSIAH SECRET, is every bit as exciting and gripping as his first. His intelligent mixture of fact with fiction really hits the spot and gets your adrenalin racing. It is very easy to read books by this author extremely quickly - because once you start it is nigh on impossible to stop!
This story is another one to feature British policeman Chris Bronson and his ex-wife, Angela. This time they are rushing across the globe to solve clues that will lead them to one of the greatest and most valuable archeological finds of all time. Unfortunately, several less-than-pleasant individuals are close on their heels - one wants to keep the secret hidden and the other wants to use it for their own ends, but both will kill anyone who stands in their way.
As is the case with Becker's two earlier novels, the story starts with a tasty "wee snippet" of information that gives you a massive clue as to the identity of the secret. In this instance, the progress of a group of dedicated individuals is followed, as they carry this valuable secret on a journey fraught with danger, then bury it in a place they have previously prepared and, finally, willingly sacrifice their lives in order to keep the secret safe. This opening section of Becker's books is always extremely exciting and, as usual, I romped through it, stabbed a (correct) guess at the identity of the secret and then ploughed hungrily into the body of the book in a frenetic attempt to find out whether my guess was right.
The book is so well written that the fact I spoiled it for myself at the start isn't much of a problem. Fans of religious and/or historical crime fiction should love this book and, indeed, the others by this author: his main characters are extremely likeable and the ending is just perfect.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland