review by Rich Weatherly
Best selling authors Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori deliver a well crafted, thoroughly researched
suspense thriller in Book of Names. Get ready for a sweeping cinematic portrayal of a world spinning out of control. This panoramic story reaches back to the dawn of man drawing on a Talmudic tradition that Adam compiled the Book of Names. This book is believed to list thirty-six Lamed Vovniks for each generation of humankind. According to the legend, these righteous souls stand between life as we know it and the apocalypse.
Early in the story we learn that three kids fall from the icy roof of a building. The protagonist experiences a near death experience. The repercussions of this event will include severe headaches which will haunt him with flashes of random names. Once these begin, he starts a journal. That journal becomes a central object of concern and actions by the protagonist and his enemies.
A syncretic cult, the Gnoseos has made its goal, the elimination of the Lamed Vovnickks. Members of Gnoseos hale from the rich and powerful across the globe. This sect attempts to use Kabbalistic, esoteric mysticism and the occult to calculate the current names of the righteous souls so they can destroy them. One of the members of the Gnoseos worked for twelve years as a `loyal’ assistant to an archaeologist. When his mentor discovered the Book of Names in the desert near Cairo the assistant turned traitor. He killed his boss and took off with the precious papyri. This would become the spark that would lead to a string of targeted killings.
Protagonist David Shepherd, a poli-sci professor, finds himself caught up in this maelstrom chain of events. When he learns his step-daughter Stacy is on the list of the Lamed Vovniks his life becomes a relentless search for answers. This includes attempts to identify the current thirty-six Lamed Vovniks and stones representing the original twelve tribes of Isreal as well. Kabbalists have long used a Hebrew system of numerology called gematria to extract hidden meaning from from the Torah. One tool they use is ELS, equidistant letter sequences to find hidden words in the text. Before computers, this was next to impossible. Imagine a giant crossword puzzle processing in every possible direction then changing the value of the spacing and starting all over again. Unfortunately, both Hebrew rabbis and members of the Gnoseos are racing to locate all of the names. As the Gnoseos identifies a name, they kill everyone they can find with the same name. The side that finds all thirty-six Lamed Vovniks will win; one side trying to save them, the other eliminate them.
Book of Names delivers relentless action as the Gnoseos attempt to take out the protagonist and his allies. He and a beautiful Israeli agent prove to be well equipped to face a series of attacks. Scenes pass by crisply. This is a battle between ingenious protagonists and a determined enemy. Be prepared for action that builds through a stunning crescendo toward a high stakes climax. Expect a good `ole knock down, drag out.
This would make a great action adventure motion picture. It is a genuine page turner without a boring moment.
Enjoy this amazing thriller.
Publishers Book Description
Release date: January 9, 2007
Within each generation, there are thirty-six righteous souls. Their lives hold the key to the fate of the world. Now someone wants them dead.
When a childhood tragedy comes back to haunt Professor David Shepherd, he finds himself in possession of knowledge that holds the world in a delicate balance. He uncovers the Book of Names—an ancient text originating with the biblical Adam, and thought lost to history forever. By Kabbalistic tradition, the book contains the names of each generation’s thirty-six righteous souls—the Hidden Ones—by whose merits alone the world continues to exist. Legend holds that if all thirty-six Hidden Ones were eliminated, the world would meet its end.
When the Hidden Ones start dying of unnatural causes, the world grows increasingly unstable: war in Afghanistan, massive flooding in New York, brutal terrorist attacks in Melbourne, a tanker explosion in Iran. David finds himself battling against the Gnoseos, a secret religious sect whose goal is to destroy the world by eliminating all of the righteous souls. David’s involvement quickly turns personal when his stepdaughter’s name is discovered to be one of the endangered. With the help of a brilliant and beautiful Israeli ancient texts expert, David races to decipher the traditions of the Kabbalah to save the righteous souls, his stepdaughter, and perhaps the world.
Authors and Book Links
Karen Tintori Author Page