Recent Events

Thursday, 31 July 2014

‘The Quest’ by Nelson Demille

Published by Sphere,
19 September 2013.
ISBN: 978-0751553246

A priest has been held captive for forty years in Ethiopia.  An attack by opposing forces releases him, and he runs into the jungle where he meets journalists Frank Purcell and Henry Mercado, and their photographer, the mysterious Vivian Smith.  Dying, the priest tells them of the reason for his imprisonment: he had found the location of the ‘black monastery’ and seen its greatest treasure, the Holy Grail.  The trio set off on their own quest, in spite of the final battles between Prince Joshua and the sadistic General Getachu, who would also like to find the cup.

This book is a new version of one published almost forty years ago, and presumably brought out again in the slipstream of The Da Vinci Code.  The author had family connections with the Italian army in Ethiopia, and I found the background of the civil war interesting, and well described.  The characterisation is slight, and I found the behaviour of the girl, Vivian, improbable.  The prose is workmanlike.  However, the author’s interest is in telling a fast-moving, action-filled story, and he succeeded in this.  The action did move quickly, with good cliff-hangers, and a lot of jetting from place to place.  The battle and escape scenes built up a lot of tension.  There were some very gruesome episodes.  If you enjoy this genre and want something light to take on holiday, this one’s a good, fast-moving read.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track. DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. He was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
DeMille returned to the States and went back to Hofstra University where he received his degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and still lives on Long Island.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

No comments:

Post a Comment