Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, #7) biblical

Read Audible The Lost Treasure of the TemplarsAuthor James Becker –

The Lost Treasure of the Templars is the 1st in a trilogy by James Becker Robin is a bookseller of antique books That should be a slow paced job.until she gets what looks like a book but is really a safe containing a parchment.Coming to her rescue and joining in the adventure is retired police officer Mallory The body count increases rapidly as the Templars are are on their tail to take the parchment that belongs to them Everyone thinks that the Templars no longer exist but does in the shadows and they want that parchment.The Templars are always two steps behind our duo They have to follow Robin and Mallory as they can t figure out how to solve the clues. Beware, readers who enjoy books with a conclusion This book has none, which unfortunately has becomecommon in the publishing world, I suppose as a marketing ploy to get readers to buy further books in a series This maddens me, and if it does you, stay away from this The novel does not have a cliffhanger ending, which would beof an affront, in my opinion It does end with with things on an even keel, so it has that much going for it, although as a result, the reader gets the sense that the book could have ended at any other point in the plot line and been as coherent.For the subject matter, I found the writing a bit prosaic and expository There was a LOT of explaining, and not as much action as you would expect here, although for students of history the exposition and constant review of the facts and historical background might be interesting.The characters were so so, and I felt never fully realized Robin herself starts out as a cipher of sorts, a homey, mousy sort of woman who runs a bookshop, who, bewilderingly, is revealed to have the skills necessary to fight evil Italian crime rings, including a mastery of martial arts, ability to pilot a plane, a very serviceable knowledge of Latin, and a car racing license How convenient Equally opportune, her partner in crime, David Mallory, just HAPPENS to be writing a book about the Knights Templar when they meet up and are forced into researching the mysterious Templar scroll Robin finds The pair manages to escape the Italians not once but three times, using her marital arts and his expertise as a former cop This doesn t hold up to much scrutiny, in my opinion Once maybe they got lucky Thrice The reader cannot help but compare the couple to Dan Brown s historical researching adventure finding pairs, to this couple s detriment.A note on the author s assertions about the evils of religion At one point, Robin snaps that she s an atheist, and the reader can t help but position the author on her side Message atheists, good, religious people bad Exhibit A the evil Italian mob, part of a syndicate of religious zealots intent on snuffing out heresy, in their words, thus putting them in the same camp as the Inquisition and, ostensibly, the Muslim fanatics Robin and David criticize The author has Robin postulate You know, I really believe thatatrocities have been perpetrated in the name of some organized religion than by every atheist and nonbeliever who has ever lived I think you could argue that every religion is inherently evil, simply because of the way that committed believers absolutely know that they and they alone are right and therefore everybody else is wrong She goes on to lump militant Islam in with equally militant Christianity David responds with his own condemnations of religion, adding that the basis of the violence committed by believers is only ever beliefs, not facts It s never about facts where religion is concerned Now, putting aside the fact that atheism has its own set of beliefs, not facts, about the universe and its creation, and putting aside the moral equivalency of militant Christianity with militant Islam for the moment, the assertion that there isevil done in the name of religion than anything else is just irresponsible and reprehensible Perhaps the author is unaware of the 92 million killed under non religious Communist regimes in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China in the 20th century alone Hitler was non religious, even anti religious, himself That s another 10 million How about the political executions of about 2 million in the Khmer Rouge killing fields Compare that to the approximate 3,000 people that died in TOTAL under the Catholic Inquisition I don t mind an author inserting his or her political or other views into his works But those views should have a basis in reality, especially when espousing supposed historical facts. The National Bestselling Author Of The Lost Testament Returns With The First Novel In A Thrilling New Series About The Powerful Secrets Of The Knights Templar And A Conspiracy Too Shocking To Believe In A Quiet English Seaside Town, Antiquarian Bookseller Robin Jessop Has Acquired An Odd Medieval Volume What Appears To Be A Book Isn T A Book At All, But A Cleverly Disguised Safe, In Which She Finds A Single Rolled Parchment, Written In CodeFor Encryption Expert David Mallory, The Text Is Impenetrable Until An Invaluable Clue Opens The Door To A Mystery, And A Conspiracy, Stretching Back Seven Centuries, When The Most Powerful Man In Europe Declared War On The Most Powerful Clan, The Knights Templar Now, Jessop And Mallory Find Themselves On A Global Hunt For An Unsurpassed Treasure And This Much Closer To The Keys To Secrets That Could Change History, Topple An Empire, And Bury Them Both Alive Because They Re Not Only The Hunters They Re Also The Hunted I love James Becker s books The ideas, the pace, the action Hands down one of the best thriller authors in the world today. Read and EnjoyI really enjoyed this book and am a keen fan of James Becker.The predictability of the plot didn t distract from my enjoyment This is, after all, how these adventures work surprising discovery followed by bad guys and challenges Hey, what s not to like.The threats of rape were surplus to requirements, in my view and not essential to the plot Why are the bad guys always heterosexual And why are they always Catholic fundamentalists Come on, let s pick on some other religions for a change.I think I ve guessed what the other part of the treasure is but won t spoil it for anyone.I m glad there s also a sequel Too often these adventures end too quickly.As with all the James Becker books I ve read there is always a thread of truth throughout and I enjoy learning about the historical contexts in which the stories are founded.Looking forward to the next in the series but might have to wait a week or do as I ve just bought three other books to read. I m trying to decide if I wanted to like thisthan I did, or if a liked itthan I wanted to It s confusing.Since Dan Brown s success years ago with The Da Vinci Code, publishers across the world have realize that there s money on the table for a writer to have their own completely original idea about a quest for lost treasure that, oops, isn t treasure at all but really information that will bring Christendom to its knees and expose it as fraud once and for all Writers have jumped on board by the dozens, from Raymond Khoury on down to the author of the novel reviewed here, James Becker True story Daniel Easterman was doing this back in the 90 s, but I guess everyone forgot So, how do you set yourself apart from the masses There is only one way, as far as I am concerned, and that s with characters I would say humor would work as well, since most of these books are dry as a Texas July But unless your book is called The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Templars, humor is off the table With characters in mind, I was pleasantly surprised with how The Lost Treasure of the Templars started out Robin Jessop is the main character, a twenty something woman running a rare book shop She knows it s not a profession most young women get into, but she enjoys it She s not worried at all about treasure or international conspiracies, or even history for that matter, when she comes across an old book that isn t even a book at all and houses a coded scroll It piques her interest because the unique object and scroll might both be valuable to a collector She contacts a current client who has shown interest in such things to help her figure it out.David Mallory is a computer encryption expert who s been researching his family tree He can t help but be drawn in to what Robin has found, so he decides to take a few days away to visit and help her out.I thought this was a reasonably fresh idea Essentially two normal people, not cops or archeologists or famous experts in anything, who stumble upon a mystery In fact, the best part of the book is the first third, where Robin and David sit around the artifacts, discussing real ancient encrypting techniques as they try to decrypt the scroll There s an interesting angle on history there and the author plays it out well The characters feel real enough and the situation plausible.Then the militant religious order with a global reach drops by, as they must in all these novels That s where things break down Suddenly, there s two hundred pages of chases and gun fights and almost zero plot development The mystery is put on hold, and when it does come back, it treads the same ground and goes nowhere The characters development stops, then starts going off in wildly implausible directions that left me feeling like the author dropped them in there simply as an excuse for certain things to happen.I won t say what these things were, but let s say you found yourself on a deserted island with your wife or whoever you like and you ve known this person for years and they ve always been a high school English teacher Suddenly you need an emergency appendectomy Your significant other produces hastily made surgical tools and performs the procedure flawlessly, saving your life When asked, they say, I have a medical degree but I thought surgery was boring, so I went into teaching while also casually exploring how to make modern tools from everyday objects you might find on a deserted island What luck It sure came in handy today I can also build a submarine out of those palm trees over there Welcome to The Lost Treasure of the Templars. Kindle Edition Reasonably paced but a bit wordy in places A definite page turner Well researched Templar material and other interesting facts too and all nicely excavated from historical sources etc well framed and integrated into the story Characters have some substance and the principal characters Robin and Mallory will without doubt marinatein the creative juices in the author s imagination into memorable, well rounded,emotive individuals as the series develops Don t think the French will take lightly to being referred to as cheese eating surrender monkeys since it is the pejorative term for French people coined by Ken Keeler in the tv show The Simpsons and the Italians don t come out of this tale very well either, so bang goes a substantial portion of the European market that might be alienated by the casual use of the English language and renegade Catholic enforcers However I ll still get the next in the series as I feel slightly miffed with the end that leaves me with my tongue hanging out forbut then that s good writing isn t it This is a fast paced story that, as an avid reader of this genre of fiction, had me on the edge of my seat until I d finished it.Robin Jessop and David Mallory meet as a result of an unusual book safe being found in a box of books Robin is a seller of old and rare books, living in Devon Mallory is an IT specialist, living in Cornwall They join forces and together they travel to Turkish Cyprus via Exeter, Sidon and Greek Cyprus, on the quest to find the Templar s lost treasure.Death and destruction follow Jessop and Mallory, but they re undaunted There are clues to be deciphered and followed to enable the pair to find their goal Will they do it Read the book It s worth it. I just finished Becker s book and really liked it It s fast paced and full of off beat humor I love books about the Templar s and this didn t disappoint The two main characters, Robin Jessop female and David Mallory are drawn together into this adventure, quite by accident and they form a somewhat unlikely couple of detectives One kiss but no fireworks and no sex Now that s something new these days I can see the chemistry working though so maybe somewhere in the future, who knows.I can t wait till the next one comes out. Quest to find the most valuable lost treasure of all time