The Christos Mosaic
by Vincent Czyz
Blank Slate Press

"We are talking about the single greatest find in New Testament archeology. Christianity will have to be rewritten if... if it's genuine."

Often, the best novels are difficult to categorize. Perhaps more often, novels that try to do too many things, don’t succeed at doing any of them particularly well. Fortunately, every now and then, a novel comes along that is both hard to define, yet exceptional at juggling multiple genres whose sum is even greater than its individual parts. Such a novel is The Christos Mosaic, which melds historical fiction with contemporary adventure and produces a compelling mystery that is as educational as it is entertaining.

The primary setting is exotic Istanbul, whose culture, architecture, history, and present-day gestalt is brought vividly to life. There are also exciting excursions to Cairo, Adana, Alexandria, and more, as cities, ports, deserts and mountains become characters of their own in an unfolding pursuit for both treasure and truth.

Drew is a young American expatriate in Turkey who is adrift in a prolonged funk initiated by separation and divorce from his volatile but beautiful wife, Yasmine. His friend is a diminutive dwarf named Kadir who sells books and dabbles in the black market. In a scene reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Man Who Knew Too Much, a fleeing Muslim is killed and so begins Drew’s and Kadir’s involvement in a prolonged chase for an ancient scroll that may bring into question the very pillars of Christianity. The men are joined in their pursuit by Zafer, a lethal Turk. His ex-military expertise comes in handy as the trio race against time and a secret Vatican organization that will stop at nothing to keep the scroll out of the public eye.

Inevitable comparisons will be made to The Da Vinci Code. However, this tome owes as much to Stephen Spielberg’s adventurous archeologist, Indiana Jones, as it does to Dan Brown’s symbologist, Robert Langdon. While author Czyz’s novel is replete with meticulously researched references to Talmudic, Biblical, Greek, and ancient texts, the scholarship never slows the story. Page after page of sacred text shares space with kidnapping, car chases, erotic sex, and running gun battles.

Like the best of novels, this is a finely written, multi-layered book that takes readers on a compelling and suspenseful journey as enlightening as it is engaging. Your preconceived notions may be challenged. Your long-held convictions may be reexamined. But what is not in question, is that you will be richer in experience for having read The Christos Mosaic.

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