The Last Ember
Riverhead, Aug 6 2009, $25.95
Until the accident that killed his best friend and kicked him out of Rome’s American Academy, Jonathan Marcus wanted to become a field archeologist. Filled with guilt and remorse, he studied law and became an attorney with a suit representing some of the most scurrilous rogues in the fine arts.
He is sent to Rome to destroy the reputation of a U.N. antiquities expert. There he meets his girlfriend from the Academy Dr. Emili Travia, whom he never forgot. She is searching for the legendary two millennia old Tabernacle Menorah stolen from King Herod’s great Jerusalem Temple and brought to but lost in Rome. The sacred Menorah is allegedly to be eight feet of pure gold. Muslim Sheik Salah ad-Din searches for the precious menorah too, but if he obtains it, he will melt it down for the gold and even more so for religious reasons.
This is a terrific Brownian like religious thriller that never slows down once defrocked archeologist Jonathan returns to Rome and never looks back until the thrilling finish. The cast is solid and believable while the action is unabated but interweaved with historical information. Daniel Levin provides an exciting tale that will have readers breathless throughout.