The Last Ember by Daniel Levin
Jonathan Marcus was a promising young archeologist studying at the American Academy in Rome when a terrible accident during an illegal excavation resulted in a friend’s death and Jonathan’s expulsion from the academy. Jonathan abandoned archaeology for the law, developing a reputation as a skillful advocate for some of the art world’s less scrupulous antiquities dealers.The Last Ember is a non-stop thrill ride. There is plenty of action, some romance, a lot of history and archaeology, great characters and a well-developed plot.
When his firm sends Jonathan to Rome to discredit the testimony of a prominent U.N. antiquities official, he’s stunned to discover that the expert is Dr. Emili Travia, a friend and fellow student at the academy who was also at the excavation. This chance reunion prompts Jonathan, against his better judgment, to help Emili as she searches for the fabled Tabernacle Menorah, a priceless historical artifact seized by Roman invaders in the first century A.D. and brought to Rome where it disappeared. As they scour the ancient sites of Rome for hints to the menorah’s whereabouts—deciphering clues to its location left by ancient spies and eighteenth century art restorers—it quickly becomes clear that they are not alone in their quest.
What follows is a treasure hunt like no other, a race to find the menorah in order to control a historical perspective of who can define—and redefine—the past.
It's one of those stories where you have several groups of people converging on one ultimate goal. You have Jonathan and Emily, the Italian police group and of course the requisite bad guy. They are all after one thing - the Menorah that has been hidden for centuries. Two groups have similar goals and the bad guy has the sinister goal as expected.
I enjoyed all of the history and archeology that went into this book, I fell it was researched and that the subject matter was important tot he author. I never really had a desire to visit Rome before, and now I am dying to go. What a fascinating city with a rich history. The story moves from Rome to Israel and back and kept me on the edge of my seat. I learned little tidbits, I was entertained, and I really liked the characters.
This is a wonderful book by a debut author and I will definitely be picking up the next book that he puts out.
On-sale Date: August 6, 2009
Publisher: Riverhead Books
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