Thursday, May 21, 2009

Drawing In The Dust-Zoe Klein

Drawing In The Dust
Zoe Klein
Pocket, Jul 7 2009, $25.00
ISBN: 9781416599128

For Twelve years American archeologist Page Brookstone has dug at the biblical site Megiddo, Israel, but is bone weary. She knows she needs a change to rejuvenate her creative juices as the dig has become tedious to her in spite of Norris Anderson, who worked with her late legendary father.

The car of an Arab couple Naima and Ibrahim breaks down near the dig. Page offers them tea inside her tent. They soon invite Page to investigate the two spirits who haunt the ruins under their home in Anatot near Jerusalem. Page’s peers suggest it is unsafe, but she assumes they mean an American in an Arab neighborhood. She travels to the site where she and her team unearth an incredible biblical find. She soon realizes incredible is an under exaggeration as Page believes they have found the burial site of the prophet Jeremiah and his beloved Anatiya. Fascinatingly Anatiya has left her version of the times that matches up with the Book of Jeremiah. Soon the find leads to a major brouhaha while Page is attracted to Orthodox Jew Mortichai Master, who opposes the dig.

Rabbi Klein's terrific thriller works for three prime reasons. First it is not another Brownian clone. Second the insightful look at how tedious and methodical a biblical dig is brings authenticity to the plot. Finally, Arabs like Naima and Ibrahim are intelligent highly educated people. Rabbi Klein shows respect and admiration of Israeli and Arab cultures. Fast-paced with a strong support cast, readers will dig the superb DRAWING IN THE DUST as the Prophet Jeremiah comes alive through his writings and that of the woman he loved Anatiya.

Harriet Klausner