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The Bible of Clayby Julia Navarro
Synopses & Reviews
RAIN WAS FALLING ALL OVER ROME WHEN THE TAXI STOPPED at St. Peter's Square. It was ten o'clock in the morning.
The passenger paid the fare, told the driver to keep the change, and tucked a newspaper under his arm. He was lean and well tailored in an obviously expensive suit, his white hair combed carefully back, his resolute demeanor that of a person accustomed to giving orders. He headed straight for the first entry point, where visitors were inspected to make sure they entered the basilica properly dressed--no shorts, no miniskirts, no cleavage.
Inside the cathedral, the man rushed past Michelangelo's Pieta--the only work of art among the vast Vatican treasures that had ever moved him--without a glance. He paused for a second, orienting himself, then walked toward the confessionals, where priests from an array of countries listened in their native languages to the faithful who came from around the world to visit the Holy See.
He approached a confessional whose sign indicated that the priest heard confessions in Italian, and he stood, leaning against a column, waiting impatiently for the communicant already inside to finish. As soon as he saw the velvet curtain open and a man step out, he moved purposefully toward the confessional.
The priest coughed quietly, ready for the new communicant to begin confession.
Mi benedica, Padre, perchZ ho peccato.
What is it you wish to confess, my son?
Not a past sin, Father, but a sin I am about to commit. He leaned toward the priest and smoothed the lapel of his suit jacket. I intend to kill a man, he said. May God forgive me.
With that the man stood, rushed from the confessional, and disappeared among the hordes of tourists crowding the basilica. It took the priest a few moments to recover from his shock.
The stunned cleric stepped out of the confessional and picked up a crumpled newspaper lying on the floor. He glanced at the headlines--rostropovich concert in milan; dinosaur movie a blockbuster hit; archaeological conference in rome--and scanned the text below the last, where something had been marked: . . . with world-renowned professors and archaeologists in attendance: Clonay, Miller, Schmidt, Arzaba, Polonoski, Tannenberg. The final name was circled in red: Tannenberg.
Another man had approached the confessional and was asking insistently, Father, Father--are you all right?
Yes, yes . . . no, I'm sorry, I'm not--excuse me . . .
The priest folded the newspaper and, his gaze abstracted, walked away, leaving his latest supplicant openmouthed and unshriven.
I'd like to speak with Signora Barreda, please.
May I say who's calling?
One moment, Dottore.
The old man ran his hand over his hair and was suddenly seized with claustrophobia; the room was too small. He forced himself to take a deep breath while his eyes ran over the objects that had surrounded him for these last forty years. On his desk sat a picture frame with two photographs: one, now sepia-colored with age, of his parents, and the other of his three children. On the mantel was a photo of his grandchildren. Across the room a couch and a pair of
When archaeologist Clara Tannenberg announces the discovery of clay tablets from the time of Abraham recounting stories from Genesis, she unleashes a series of plots involving antiquities smugglers, the Iraq War, and her ruthless grandfather. By the author of The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud. 40,000 first printing.
From the internationally bestselling author of The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud comes this electrifying new suspense thriller about a biblical discovery in the remote Iraqi desert—and a deadly struggle being waged on the eve of war to uncover a truth that’s waited 3,000 years to be told….
In St. Peter’s Basilica, a man sits in a confessional asking forgiveness for a murder he’s about to commit. And a young priest begins a desperate journey to stop him.…
It’s only the beginning of a ruthless race among the world’s most powerful to find a rumored cache of sacred texts inscribed with the story of Creation as told by Abraham. This account, on tablets of clay, predates the Bible by a thousand years and could be one of the most important discoveries of all time.
Archaeologist Clara Tannenberg’s announcement of an excavation to seek the tablets has set off shock waves of outrage, contempt, and outright disbelief. But among four old friends, bound through decades by shared tragedy, the announcement has renewed their hunger for revenge. For Clara’s reclusive, infamous grandfather Alfred is a man as feared as he is hated and his enemies will stop at nothing to destroy him—and use anything as a weapon…even his granddaughter.
Among rumors of Iraq’s imminent invasion, time is already running out. As Clara and her husband Ahmed put together a ragtag team of renegade archaeologists and inexperienced students to excavate the Bible of Clay from deep within the heart of Iraq, another far more sinister team is determined to get there first. For Alfred Tannenberg has roots that reach deeply into the horrors of Nazi Germany and they’ve come to fruition in today’s highest precincts of power.
Sweeping from the time of the biblical patriarchs to the front lines of the Iraqi conflict to the parties and back rooms of Washington D.C., and other centers of influence, The Bible of Clay is a thriller of unrelenting, thought-provoking, and all-too-plausible suspense.
About the Author
Julia Navarro is a Madrid-based journalist and political analyst for Agencia OTR/Europa Press, and a correspondent for other prominent Spanish radio and television networks and print media. Her first novel, The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud, was an international bestseller.
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