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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Sholes, Lynn; Moore, Joe: The Grail Conspiracy

  Amazon  

4.5 stars

In the deserts of Iraq, shortly before the U.S. invasion, Satellite News Network reporter Cotten Stone stumbles upon an archaeological dig, its crew scrambling to leave the site and get out of the country while there's still time. Cotten's brief encounter with the chief archaeologist of the dig, Dr. Gabriel Archer, sets in motion the dramatic series of events to follow--events foretold in the Book of Revelation that may culminate in nothing less than the Second Coming of Christ.

Given its subject matter, The Grail Conspiracy will undoubtedly be compared to Dan Brown's bestseller, perhaps even dismissed as a DaVinci Code knockoff. The books do tread some of the same ground--a secret organization, millennia old, a religious conspiracy--but the similarities between the books don't go very deep. It's fair to say, however, that readers who liked Brown's book should enjoy The Grail Conspiracy as well. It's a well-written page-turner, with a complex plot and fleshed-out, likeable characters. (The good and near-good guys in the book are more fully developed than their adversaries.) My one complaint is with the book's denouement: after stumbling about in ignorance for the better part of the story, the authors' protagonists--Cotten and her priest friend John Tyler--figure out the bad guys' rather complicated plans much too quickly, and the final conflict between the forces of good and evil in the book is not as dramatic as one would have hoped. Cotten and John, that is, get off a little easy. That said, I'd read another book by Lynn Sholes and Joe Moore in a heartbeat. And happily I'll be able to do just that. The Grail Conspiracy is the first in a series of Cotten Stone mysteries (I'd sooner have called them religious thrillers). The next installment in the series, The Last Secret, is due out in September of 2006.

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