Title: The Alexander Cipher
Author: Will Adams
Release Date: March 18, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Historical Thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
Workers in Alexandria are excavating for a new building when they discover the ruins of an old tomb, and all work crashes to a halt. According to federal law in Egypt, all discoveries must be properly catalogued by archeologists and this tomb has unusual relics and representations, apparently contemporary with Alexander the Great.
Daniel Knox’s first love is history and archeology, specifically on Alexander the Great. When he pisses off a local mobster on the coast of Egypt, he heads to Alexandria to an archaeology colleague’s apartment to hide out for a while. He learns his friend is getting to participate on the dig for this newly discovered tomb. Sneaking in with his friend, Daniel sees signs that the find is far bigger than anyone realizes and might hold clues to finally unraveling one of the world’s greatest mysteries: Where is Alexander the Great buried?
In his lifetime, Alexander was beloved as a god, and across the Mediterranean, everyone wanted to be close to him. Upon his death, there was a mad scrabbling among his former allies to secure his empire for themselves. Even now, nearly 2500 years later, Alexander is still being fought over. With the discovery of this tomb and the revelation of its relics, the race is on to find Alexander. Rival archeologists, Egyptian officials, and Macedonian nationalists all scurry and scramble, attacking each other along the way as they hunt for a glorious prize–the body of Alexander the Great.
I love books like this. They’re one of my guilty pleasures. I have a passion for history and archaeology; combining that with a modern adventure story? It’s just a lot of fun.
The Alexander Cipher is a well-written novel that is intriguing and full of historical tidbits. Happily, this novel is much better than the plethora of The Da Vinci Code knockoffs (trust me, I’ve read most of them). It stands on its own two feet, without relying on the tactics and tricks of a previously written book.
I loved the history contained within The Alexander Cipher. Alexander the Great is such an intriguing figure. The mystery of his tomb is extremely compelling and provides a great vehicle for this novel. Adams obviously did a solid amount of research; I learned a lot that I didn’t know about the history and the time period. Happily, however, the book was never bogged down in the quagmire of historical details. Adams manages to strike a healthy balance between interesting history and tedious minutiae.
Adams also balances the action and archaeology very well in The Alexander Cipher. Too often, these types of books have too much of one or the other, which takes away some of the fun of reading it. This book is a very good mix of the two.
I enjoyed The Alexander Cipher, as far as historical thrillers go. It was a light, fun, and interesting read. I look forward to reading Will Adams’ next novel!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review!