THE WITCH OF BABYLON
by D.J. McIntosh
Penguin Group (Canada)
D.J. McIntosh has an amazing amount of knowledge about ancient societies, especially Mesopotamia, crammed into her brain. That's what makes this book, her first, such a delight to read.
She's crafted a thriller combining a deadly search for an Iraqi antiquity with all the ingredients to keep the reader turning pages. There's a good guy, who's deeply flawed and watching his world crumble. There's a dangerous gang of thieves who don't stop at murder in their quest for the prize. There's archaeology, alchemy, and a treasure that would stop Indiana Jones in his tracks! And it takes place at a breathless pace.
The action starts in New York where Turkish-American art dealer John Madison faces the loss of his older brother Samuel, just returned from Iraq with a looted priceless relic in his possession. Samuel is trying to save it from the vultures who see only dollar signs and blood rather than the national importance of these treasures. Then, a childhood friend is murdered but not before he involved John in the chase to recover this relic that's now been stolen once again.
The thieves are brutal and desperate, torturing John, who then escapes and tries to stay one step ahead of them, while finding the relic and rescuing a captive friend. The answer lies in Iraq, where more lives are lost, a spectacular treasure is unveiled and myth becomes reality. But the twist awaits him back in New York.
And don't forget the witch!
McIntosh is the winner of the 2008 Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada for Best Unpublished Crime Novel. The Witch of Babylon was also shortlisted for the Crime Writer's Association (U.K.) Debut Dagger Award. And now, the Penguin Group has published it and it's available at your local bookstore. Better yet, it's book one of a trilogy.
Dan Brown, watch out -- the Witch is on the prowl!
Be sure to check out D.J. McIntosh's website at http://www.babylontrilogy.com