Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Lost Gospel - Book Review

The Last Gospel (UK)
The Lost Tomb (USA)
By David Gibbins
Headline Publishing 2008

In May 2008 I posted about David Gibbins two earlier books. At the end of the post I mentioned that the new book was to be about the search for the Tomb of Alexander the Great. I have rechecked the book and have confirmed that while it does mention Alexander the Great, it is not in connection with a tomb.

So when I spotted The Last Gospel on the new books shelf at the library, I grabbed it. Once again Jack Howard and his sidekick Costas Kazantzakis are on the trail for some hidden and lost detail of history.

This time we find Jack and Costas in a boat off the southern coast of Sicily where the find the boat that St Paul was on when he was shipwrecked. Melita in the original was translated as Malta, but Jack's theory was that the prevailing winds would not have carried the boat from Cyprus all the way to Malta. They would have to come up against Sicily instead.

While diving on the sea bed, the two fo them come across a first century ship that has proof that St Paul was on board when it sunk.

After this discovery they get called to Herculaneum in Italy. Herculaneum is an ancient city in Naples Bay on the lower slopes of Mt Vesuvuius. The city was buried in Ad 79 when Mt Vesuvius erupted. The other city that was buried was the much more well known Pompeii. BUT Herculaneum has the real treasures. The Villa of the Papyri has hundrs of scrolls that were partially burnt and then preserved for 2000 years. Archaelologists hope to be able to save these papyrus scrolls or at least read them before they disentegrate into dust.

Jack and Howard are able to explore a small unknown tunnel in the ruins. At the en dof this tunnel they discover a room that managed to escape the fiery pyroclastic lava that rolled down from the volcano.

Next stop is Rome and the tunnels that honey comb the ground underneath palatine hil. Jack and Costas go spelunking.

Next stop London - St Lawrence Jewry specifically. Here they find the Deverette (Everett) family. In the 1600's a Frenchman named Deverette was exploring the undergroubd tunnels under the Jewry and found something. He kept it safe in his family. The descendents were still looking after this item in the early 1900s when one of the Everett descendents took this item with him to California.

In California Jack and Costas find the Everett home and follow the clues. Those clues lead Jack and Costas to Jerusalem and the church of the Holy Sepulchre.

While this books was exciting with our heros dashing all over the place, the ending was a bit of a let down. There was several mentions of tombs, but I couldnt tell who's tomb was discovered at the end. St Paul's tomb or the tomb of Jesus.

As for the last gospel - You'll have to read this book to know if Jack and Costas found that.

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