Ellechor Publishing House
The combined talent of Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch has created an engaging novel in After the Cross. The story centers on Dr. Colton Foster, an expert in Latin whose past mistakes in the field haunt him. He is matched with Mallory Windom, another expert linguist, but also a black market dealer. The two have previously worked together and Mallory was the cause of Coltonís ruinous mistake. The two must deal with cryptic clues, hostile governments, hired mercenaries, and the tension between them, as they search for the missing cross of Christ.
Barr and Lynchís story has elements for all to enjoy. The book is packed with action, intrigue, investigation, and even romance. None of these elements fade into the background. Coltonís love life and interest in Mallory are featured as prominently as the heart-pounding chase scenes along dirt roads. Each element is balanced and interesting. The authors even spark interest over minute details in linguistics. Another interesting part of the book is the switching of perspectives and time periods. There are times when the reader follows Colton, then follows Mallory, then follows the villain, but other times the scenes go back to the crucifixion, the crusaders, and the burning of Constantinople. Even though the first few times this happens seem disjointed, the episodes always manage to stay interesting and provide deeper information related to the main scenario.
There are some noted issues with their story. As central as the relationship between Colton and Mallory is, it seems a bit rushed. The story spans only a two-week timeframe, and their relationship goes through a very quick development. Another question that arises is about the power of relics. A main idea of the story is how the cross itself can heal a woman dying of cancer. This leads to a focus on the cross as a practical tool, more than as a symbol of Godís love. In the flashbacks, and also the ending, there are examples of the crossís power, from healing an old woman in 326 A.D., to multiplying bread in the present day. Showing the object having power may raise some theological ire among readers.
Barr and Lynch have written a very entertaining novel, with exciting action and deep relationships. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys modern thrillers, or anyone looking for an Indiana Jones substitute. The writing is solid, the dialogue is believable, and the message that Colton shares throughout is very powerful. It is a good plot, hard to put down. Ė Todd Naevestad, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Colton Foster, once hailed as a renowned expert in Latin, Hebrew and Greek, had his reputation destroyed when a shadowy antiquities dealer outwitted him with master forgeries from Solomon s Temple. Years later, his career and self-respect still in pieces, a team discovers an 800-year old letter in Istanbul and his life takes a pivotal turn. The job of translating the letter, purportedly revealing the hidden cross of Jesus, is his for the taking, and with it a chance to redeem himself.
Mallory Windom is smart, beautiful, and skilled at getting what she wants. A linguistic prodigy with a dark history, she trusts no one, an important skill in the black market antiquities trade where she regularly sells her expert talents to the highest bidder.
As Colton and Mallory hunt for Christianity s most prized relic, mysterious forces seem bent on stopping them at every turn. They soon discover that the most important struggle of their lives is not around them, but from within, testing their beliefs, their ethics, and their growing love for one another.