Saturday, 27 June 2015

'The Sacred Bones' by Michael Byrnes


Last week, I stumbled upon this book titled ‘The Sacred Bones’ by an unfamiliar author. I was intrigued by the back cover synopsis and started to read. Very interesting archeological thriller set in the backdrop of conflicts plaguing Jerusalem, and I enjoyed it immensely.

The plot is well etched, fast-paced and the narrative alternates between Vatican and Jerusalem. Characters are well developed, showing just and scheming individuals in all the religious groups. The author candidly relates how religion and politics are intertwined through the millennia.  


A mysterious artifact – an ossuary containing human bones with unmistakeable signs of crucifixion – is stolen from beneath the Temple Mount. Carbon dating indicates that the artifact belongs to first century AD. Genetic analysis throws up results that are profound and unbelievable. Possible conclusions of the discovery have the potential to shake the foundations of major religions. The lead characters – an Arab detective, an American geneticist and an Italian anthropologist – are caught in the web woven by the political and religious stakeholders involved. Historical information is provided as and when the plot requires, thus making it blend with the narrative. Overall, this book throws up some interesting questions and the author tries to answer them with historical insight and imagination. 

If you like to read fiction, I would definitely recommend this book. In fact, I intend to read two other titles by the author ‘The sacred Blood’ and ‘The Genesis Plague’, the former being a sequel to this book!

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