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The Alexander Cipher

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About the Author

William Petre worked as a shop salesman, painter & decorator, warehouse porter and microfiche technician, before joining a Washington DC-based firm of business history consultants. He wrote a series of corporate histories and biographies for them, taking time off between projects to travel in search of exotic settings for his stories. More recently, he worked for a London communications agency, but he now concentrates on writing fiction full-time. He lives in Essex, England.


In a welcome respite from the glut of Christendom-shattering, artifact-protecting, Secret Order thrillers, debut author Adams offers up something new. A cobbled-together team-a Greek archaeologist, her French assistant/language specialist, and quasi-corrupt Egyptian antiquities officials-finds a clue that, when deciphered, leads them to the real tomb of Alexander the Great. Here's the twist-the whole operation is funded by a wealthy Macedonian nationalist who will use Alexander's body to mobilize his compatriots to wage war against Greece for sovereignty. Rival archaeologist Daniel Knox is our misunderstood action hero and romantic lead in the style of Indiana Jones and Dirk Pitt, fractionally more skilled at eluding peril than becoming ensnared in it. Adams racks up a generous body count; some victims we have grown to like. The violence is graphic and the language at times coarse, though commensurate with the world of baksheesh, graft, and unchecked power depicted here. Not literature, but a plausible, fun heist-thriller that compels the reader to wonder, What if? Recommended for most popular fiction collections. [Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/08.]-Laura A.B. Cifelli, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Daniel Knox, a dive instructor and former archeologist, is just one of many characters searching for Alexander the Great's lost tomb in British author Adams's less than suspenseful debut. Aboard a dive boat in the Red Sea, Knox goes against his better judgment and rescues an attractive young blonde from the clutches of wealthy Hassan al-Assyuti, who's intent on rape and battery. Knox must then go on the run, leaving him barely enough time to fall in love with Gaille Bonnard, a demotic language expert working on a dig connected to Alexander in northern Egypt. In Alexandria, construction manager Mohammed el-Dahab has stumbled on a necropolis that will eventually point all the competing searchers toward Alexander's actual tomb. Thriller fans with an interest in Egyptology and Alexander will find much to like, while those seeking swift action and adventure will find themselves bogged down in too many subplots and historical factoids. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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