Hands Across The Sky
by Andrew John Schmitz
Deep Theory Press

"Remember this: true freedom comes not from letting go, but from joining."

Current events intertwine with traditional adventure in author Schmitz’s tale of foreign intrigue, clandestine organizations, and ancient Middle East sects. His story moves like a swiftly flowing current taking the reader on an engaging journey into unknown waters.

Ezra Quinn is a young man living and working in San Francisco. He’s mildly satisfied with life overall, his job writing code for a computer company, and his on-again, off-again romance with the young woman in the next cubicle at his office. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he gets a job offer that rekindles his dormant spirit of adventure. A giant bonus, a huge salary, paid living expenses and luxurious accommodations in Dubai seem too good to be true. He soon learns they are.

After a short stint in the cosmopolitan city, he’s whisked away to Cairo where he’s ensconced in a guarded compound and made to answer for all his comings and goings. While working on surveillance devices for what he initially thinks is a legitimate company, he subsequently discovers otherwise and tries to do something about it. His efforts however, are stalled by a sequence of events including murder, torture, sex in a monastery, and potential political assassination.

Schmitz’s story conjures memories of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon plus more modern tales of international deception. His is a novel as concerned with spiritual (though not necessarily religious) awakenings as it is with foreign affairs. It’s an interesting novel that moves its protagonist briskly along the road to enlightenment with engaging detours along the way.

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