Monday, October 15, 2012

Carolyn McCray Turns World Upside Down in Thriller, Havoc!

"What was the item Amed found? she asked, then
blew on her coffee hoping Osip didn't notice her
lack of interest in the drink. The Russians tool
national pride to pretty extreme reaches, including
their homegrown coffee.
"A block of stone," Osip set down his cup after a
long drink and made the size of about a playing
card with his fingers. "About so big. It was inscribed
with ancient Hebrew. Amed wished me to translate."
Rebecca waited for Osip to continue, yet he just
kept drinking that damned cup of joe. "And?"
she prompted, not wanting to push him but also
anxious to find out what would drive Amed to
reach out to a Jew.
"The stone's inscription," Rebecca asked. "Do you
remember it?"
"Da," Osip said, lazily stirring his coffee. "There
were only fragments of passages."
"And those would be?" Rebecca asked as she tried
to take a sip herself.
"Herein lies the Asereth ha-D'bharim..."
  The Betrayed Series

By Carolyn McCray

I've come to enjoy the search adventures regarding religious artifacts that are now popular and Havoc by Carolyn McCray certainly got my attention quickly and held it to the very end! So interested that I knew I would have to at least go back for the first and continue on with the series... If you enjoy this type of novel, I highly recommend this one to you. Two concurrent hunts take place in Havoc. One, of major interest world-wide which was related to bio-terrorism; the other takes readers back to the time of Moses, with questions as to what exactly was on the tablets that Moses received from God...

Brandt and his men were tracking those who had stolen the dangerous biological called Rinderpest,  led by Amed. He was feeling the loss of men who had formerly worked for him, men who he could fully trust but they had been killed and, now, during this ambush, Amed had been accidentally critically injured. But refused to tell them anything, laughing as he died, "I go to paradise, brother."

His words shook them all--why would an Iraqi-born leader who was a "cold-blooded, send-children-to-their-fiery-death kind of extremist, now die with the word brother on his lips? He then added "The words are spoken. There will be no hiding...The prophet speaks. Shalom...

Brandt immediately thought of Rebecca Monroe, the paleoanthropologist, who could help...

One of his men had, instead, been thinking about Brandt's "wife who also had the skill..." Which was a telling statement, since Brandt had been formerly engaged to Rebecca until the woman he had married had told him she was carrying his child. For Brandt, a dedicated Catholic, there was no choice but to marry the mother of his child...

Which makes for a tense but sensitive non-romantic relationship between Brandt and Rebecca as they begin the chase across the world...Quite often I found myself trying to figure out if and how they would get back together...Let's just say that I thought the ending was delightfully surprising...

Not only were there problems regarding their relationship, but there were also different goals for each. Brandt had been sent to find the bio-weapon, while Rebecca became totally involved with searching for what Amed had found. Fortunately since the two things--where the bio-weapon had been hidden and where he had found the pieces of tablet--seemed likely to be the same place, both used their specific expertise to keep moving from one place to another.

But, there was still another group involved...the Disciples of the Stone, with a ruthless leader and sniper who were following wherever they went, even killing their own members if they could have found out too much about what the search involved...

Now I must say that where they ended up was a fantastic portrayal of two ancient cities that had once existed. This story has been expanded based upon research of multiple religions and tells an exciting version of events about which you may have known, but not as fully as provided in this novel. I applaud McCray for her work with this, even though I don't want to talk about it because it is just soooooo cool!

In fact, the whole book is uniquely superb in the overall alternative historical telling of what occurred when Moses met God...and what happened afterward!

There are several characters that were awesome additions as well--turning this treasure hunt drama into a thriller extraordinaire. Lopez deserves mentioning as the man who could find and drive anything...even if into the ground, literally... Then there is Davidson who had betrayed the team and was now quite changed and had become like a brother to Rebecca, while Brandt refused to trust him...until he didn't have any choice. But even one-time minor characters played important roles that showed their dedication to their beliefs and history...

Truly a must-read in my opinion, if you're into historical religious adventures... Kudos to Carolyn McCray!


Carolyn McCray has had a long and extremely interesting road to become a bestseller.
When she headed to veterinary school those many years ago she had no idea decades later she would be writing controversial historical thrillers, gut wrenching mysteries and roller coaster-style action/adventure tales!
Born in San Francisco and raised in the beautiful Napa Valley, Carolyn always had an overactive imagination. As a child you could usually find her dragging the neighborhood children out to the haunted barn to make her Nancy Drew-style audio tapes. Oh and did she mention, there was an entire life-sized recreation of the nativity scene in the rafters? Yeah, that wasn't just a little creepy.
Which of course was great practice for writing such blockbusters as Plain Jane: A Patterson-style thriller with a dash of Hannibal and 30 Pieces of Silver: An Extremely Controversial Historical Thriller.
Carolyn is honored to have a seven book contract with Amazon's mystery and thriller imprint, Thomas  Mercer along with being one of the eight books during the inaugural launch of Amazon's new Serial program (9th Circle).
With over 250,000 books sold, Carolyn now lives on a beautiful lake in the Pacific Northwest where the fog rolls in over the water, snuffing out all signs of life around her. Yep, she still loves the creepy!

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