There must be a particular sub-genre of the action-adventure novel, one that relies on a discovery from antiquity that has real-world implications for power in the 21st century, or that upends hundreds or thousands of years of presumed wisdom. Surely the top of this heap is The DaVinci Codes. Righteous Men by Sam Bourne and Map of Bones by James Rollins pop to mind. There are many others. In this one, an ossuary is discovered under the Temple Mount. Could the bones found there in be those of Jesus?
Vatican operatives, a New York-born Hassidic leader in Israel, an attractive American geneticist, an Israeli and French archaeologist all vie to unveil the truth. This is set in a political context as well. What impact might the potential or real discoveries have on politics in the region. Armageddon is mentioned. This is a fun, by the numbers adventure. The characters are as thin as the paper you read, but then characterization is not the point here. Fun, speed, things blowing up, people shooting guns, exotic venues, ancient mystery, volatile contemporary politics all figure here. Characters are merely the delivery mechanisms. It is a page-turner, one that offers a bit of payload regarding Middle East history, biblical research, genetics and will be forgotten within minutes of completion. Candy for the brain. As long as you recognize this sort of product for what it is, that’s fine. It does its job well. But if you are looking for anything literary or substantial, this would leave you wanting.