Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Topkapi Secret Blog Tour

A 1,400-year-old secret...
Those who threaten this secret die...
Two people risk their lives to uncover the truth...
Cultures clash and emotions soar as Arab researcher Mohammed Atareek and American professor Angela Hall team up to solve one of history's greatest cover-ups.  Time is running out.  Opponents who will stop at nothing are dedicated to maintaining the secret.  Will Mohammed and Angela finish their whirlwind journey of discovery or will it cost them their lives?

On display at Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul lies the Topkapi Codex, an ancient manuscript of the Koran.  Its secrets are just out of reach, sealed behind impenetrable glass.  Is its text the key to exploding a centuries-old myth about the Koran?  Are its pages stained with the blood of one of the Prophet Mohammed's mortally wounded followers?  No one knows, because the Topkapi Codex is off-limits.

Mohammed Atareek is committed to gaining access to the museum's forbidden manuscript.  His research leads him to believe that the Koran hides within it an extraordinary secret - a truth that would turn the Muslim world upside down.  Evidence lies within the Topkapi Codex, but the risks involved increase as other Koranic scholars start turning up dead.

Angela had lost just about everything except her money and her job.  On a study trip to the Middle East, her research on women's issues gets sidetracked when her path crosses Mohammed's.  His overconfident, impulsive behiavior is strangely refreshing, but when he tries to engage Angela in his quest, he finds she has an agenda of our own.  Death awaits at every turn, and sparks of romance fly in this compelling adventure that reaches from the United States, across Europe, and through exotic settings of North Africa and the Middle East.

Based on solid historical research, The Topkapi Secret is a captivating debut novel of romance and mystery that sizzles like the desert heat with vivid characters, a page-turning plot, colorful locales, and eye-opening facts about the Muslim holy book.

This book was a huge disappointment.  The two main characters didn't even meet until about halfway into the book.  The chapters were disjointed.  Instead of one chapter covering an entire setting or event, the author broke it up and had three or four chapters covering the same thing (i.e., seven chapters cover the couples overnight stay in Cappadocia, Turkey).   There are 131 chapters in 400 pages!  The book jacket says Mohammed tries to engage Angela in his quest but she has a different agenda.  As of page 261, I still don't see where he does this or what her agenda is.  There is also too much other information that doesn't seem relative to the story but just seems to add fluff.

After reading the synopsis that was sent out about this book, I thought it would be very interesting.  But, I am struggling to finish the book and do not see what all the hype was about.  I am sorry to say but I would not recommend this book to anyone.

Glass Road Public Relations provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Terry Kelhawk is an award-winning writer, speaker, and teacher. She holds a doctorate degree and has considerable personal and professional experience with the Middle East and Islam.

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