Book: The Riddle Of Solomon by DJ Niko
Format: Review request and review copy sent by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller, Middle East
Book Pro’s: Exciting pace!
Book Con’s: Gets confusing near the middle.
About The God’s Of Heavenly Punishment
Cambridge archaeologist Sarah Weston and anthropologist Daniel Madigan team up for another expedition and adventure in this second book in the Sarah Weston Chronicles. While working on the Qaryat al-Fau archaeological site in Saudi Arabia, the pair uncovers a mysterious ancient scroll composed as a riddle. As they attempt to date and decipher the scroll, a flurry of ills befalls their expedition and the scroll is stolen. A trail of clues leads to India, Jerusalem, and the Judean wilderness, where the two discover the scroll was written by the enigmatic King Solomon as a map to an ancient manuscript. Meanwhile a privileged young Briton, Trent Sacks, has invested years and a fortune looking for his manuscript. Believing he is the last descendant of the House of David in the line of Solomon, Sacks will do whatever it takes to amass the ancient relics which will prove he is the Jewish Messiah. Leaving a string of murders in his wake, Sacks vows to crush Sarah and Daniel for challenging his quest. Journeying through the worlds of the occult, corporate greed, geopolitical conflict, Judaic mysticism, and biblical archaeology, Sarah and Daniel race to uncover the powerful ancient message that could have an explosive impact on modern Israel.
About the Author
D.J. Niko is the nom de plume of Daphne Nikolopoulos, an award-winning author and journalist. Her first novel, titled The Tenth Saint, was released in March 2012 to rave reviews by both readers and the trade. In March 2013, it was awarded the Gold Medal for popular fiction in the prestigious, juried Florida Book Awards. An archaeological thriller embroidered with historical motifs, The Tenth Saint takes readers on an adventure across the globe: Ethiopia, the Syro-Arabian Desert and Abyssinian Empire circa fourth century, London, Paris, Brussels, and Texas. The Tenth Saint is the first book in The Sarah Weston Chronicles series. The second, titled The Riddle of Solomon, releases July 1, 2013.
Daphne is now at work on a historical novel set in tenth century B.C.E. Israel. The epic story details the collapse of the United Monarchy and the glory and fall of the empire built by King Solomon. It will be released in early 2015. As a former travel journalist, Daphne has traveled across the globe on assignment, or for personal discovery. She has been to some places most of us don’t realize are on the map, and she has brought them to life through her writing for various magazines, newspapers and websites on an international scale. Her travel background and rich experiences now bring authentic detail, color, and realism to her fiction. She also is the editor in chief of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine, a 62-year-old luxury-lifestyle glossy. She also is the editorial director of Palm Beach Media Group, and in that capacity oversees 11 magazines and 3 websites. For more information, please visit D.J. Niko’s website. You can also follow on Twitter and Goodreads.
So we’re back with another DJ Niko book! The Riddle of Solomon is Niko’s sophomore installment in the Sarah Weston Chronicles. It’s gotten the same rating as the first book, but it is a better installment in the series. Here’s why.
We’re reintroduced to our favourite heroine, Sarah Weston, early in the novel. Her and her bubbling anthropologist boyfriend, Daniel have some serious strife going on. They’re on a new dig and like the earlier novel, the moment they hit anthropological gold, all hell breaks loose. I don’t know how Ms. Weston manages to get any sleep because she is constantly saving the world again and again.
The book’s strength lies in its fusion or blending of historical fiction with modern-day contemporary issues. As a sort of academic-thriller, readers are treated to the usual wild-chase whilst the two heroes muddle their way through history, cryptic clues and dead languages. However, Niko takes this novel up a notch by incorporating the modern-day oil crisis into the novel. Indeed, it is the contemporary problems or issues that fuel the story forward and add dimension and plot to the historical fiction. They work well together, it’s symbiotic. In that sense, this book is both a modern-day adventure story as well as a historical thriller.
The plot and characters were a lot more seamless in this installment and I enjoyed it more. I’ve given it the same rating because despite Niko’s leaps and bounds in improving the series, I still got confused making that transition between history and the modern-day. This isn’t so much a fault with the book but maybe my attention span.
Should You Read?: Yes!!!