From Publishers WeeklyFans of Harper's superb historical trilogy set during the Crusades (The Mosaic of Shadows, etc.) are likely to be disappointed by this middling thriller, yet another variation on the Indiana Jones theme. In 1947, the British, Americans and Russians are all looking for the legendary shield of Achilles because it may contain Element 61, a chemical element then missing from the periodic table that could be used in weapons. C.S. Grant, a British adventurer in need of a government pardon, agrees to help recover a murdered archeologist's notebook that may hold clues to the shield's whereabouts. A number of stock supporting characters, including an attractive female archeologist and an elderly scholar, accompany Grant to Crete in search of answers. While Harper offers some interesting discussions about the origins of Homer's poems, some readers may weary of such formulaic plot elements as a slow-motion romance, gunfights, hairbreadth escapes and the loss of a key clue. (Nov.)
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From BooklistFans of thrillers with an Indiana Jones angle who just can’t wait for the next James Rollins or Steve Berry novel should check out this very entertaining tale. Set in the late 1940s, it features a disparate group of adventurers (including a disgraced British solider, a beautiful archaeologist, and a university professor) who are searching for an ancient treasure that could have important ramifications for the postwar world. As they race from place to place, following clues to the treasure’s location, they discover that key elements of Greek mythology might not be so mythological after all. With a lightning-fast pace, a cast of colorful characters, plenty of twists and turns, and a story that reaches into the past and the future, the novel is sure to please fans of the historical-thriller genre. This is the author’s seventh novel, following his three-volume series set during the First Crusade and three Napoléon-era novels written as Edwin Thomas. It’s a stand-alone, apparently, although readers will no doubt finish this one and immediately begin clamoring for a series. --David Pitt