Book Review: The Moses Expedition
By N Mark Castro
A lost treasure, a Nazi war criminal, and an expedition to find a legend . . .
After fifty years in hiding, the Nazi war criminal known as the Butcher of Spiegelgrund has finally been tracked down by Father Anthony Fowler, a CIA operative and a member of the Vatican’s secret service. He wants something from the Butcher—a candle covered in filigree gold that was stolen from a Jewish family many years before.
But it isn’t the gold Fowler is after. As Fowler holds a flame to the wax, the missing fragment of an ancient map that uncovers the location of the Ten Commandments given to Moses is revealed. Soon Fowler is involved in an expedition to Jordan set up by a reclusive billionaire. But there is a traitor in the group who has ties to terrorist organizations back in the United States, and who is patiently awaiting the moment to strike.
From wartime Vienna to terrorist cells in New York and a lost valley in Jordan, The Moses Expedition is a thrilling read about a quest for power and the secrets of an ancient world. – Simon & Schuster
From the book description, you probably figured out that The Moses Expedition was about a modern-day search for the Ark of the Covenant, the sacred chest described in the Old Testament book of Exodus that held the Ten Commandments. And yes, the story has been done before, most notably in the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. But Raiders was based on Hollywood’s ideas of what would make a great action film wrapped around some mostly phony legends created by screenwriters.
Author Juan Gómez-Jurado’s story was based much more closely on what is actually known about the Ark, so most of the background information was reasonably close to fact, except that no one knows the exact location of the Ark, despite many attempts to locate it. In any case, The Moses Expedition was a fine, suspenseful thriller about a team of twenty-three specialists being funded and led by an eccentric billionaire who believed he could fulfill his destiny by recovering the Ark.
Of course, there were some flies in the ointment. Some members of the expedition team had their own agendas, and at least one of them was working to sabotage the mission. Team members started dying early on, and the situation grew more dire every day.
The story finished with a big, bloody climax. Even the Epilogue held an ironic surprise in the last paragraph.