Author: A. N. Dean. 2012.
Genre: Conspiracy Fiction. Thriller.
Other Details: Paperback. 516 pages.
It is the day before Thanksgiving and Emily Wess, a young history professor at Carleton College, Minnesota, is looking forward to spending it with her fiancé and family. Reaching her office she receives the shocking news that Arno Holmstrand, the college's most eminent and famous scholar, had been found murdered in his office that morning. Then she finds a letter from Holmstrand in which he advises her that he is aware someone is going to kill him and that Emily is due to have "an important role in what comes next". It turns out that Holmstrand has spent his life guarding the whereabouts of the lost Library of Alexandria.
Emily is sent flying first to England and then to the Middle East deciphering clues left by Holmstrand. In pursuit are members of the Council, who are themselves seeking the library and about to hatch a plot that threatens the government at the highest level. They have a company of assassins at their beck and call, who leave plenty of bodies in their wake and Emily is on their radar.
This proved an entertaining thriller that was underpinned with strong historical research. It was fast-paced; almost too much so. Its lead character Emily was rushing from country to country with no sleep, apart from a few hours in an airport lounge, no food, drink or bathroom breaks or so it seemed. The baddies showed extreme ruthlessness, killing people right and left and centre, then were very sloppy in one key instance. Still, such unrealistic elements are often found in this kind of conspiracy thriller and I've certainly read more implausible ones.