Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Schliemann Legacy - D.A. Graystone

    2011; 248 pages.  New Author? : Yes.  Genre : Action-Adventure.  Overall Rating : 5½*/10.

    The long-lost archaeological treasures that Heinrich Schliemann uncovered at Troy have been located.  Unfortunately, they’re inside a compound in the Colombian jungle, owned by a Nazi war criminal and guarded by a drug cartel.

    Three adventurers are sent to try to retrieve the priceless artifacts : the Israeli, David Morritt, the Greek, Katrina Kontoravdis; and the Turk, “Duman”.  But they’re not a team; they’re in fierce competition with each other.  And one of them is a highly-trained assassin.

What’s To Like...
    The Schliemann Legacy is non-stop action from the first page to the last.  There’s also some romance, and the historical flashbacks to the Holocaust will give you chills.  The settings are great – Paris, Colombia, and Jamaica; and D.A. Graystone adds a nice twist in the form of a game master who manipulates the three protagonists as if he was running an Dungeons and Dragons campaign.  There is a little bit of cussing, some sex, and lots of violence.  For some of us, that’s a plus.

     The characters are black and white.  More on this in a bit.  You can see the romance coming a mile away.  Some of the secondary characters – Helene, for instance – are more interesting than the main ones.  The game master’s resources and methods are never really explained and the question that intrigued me – should the artifacts be given to Greece or Turkey – is never explored.  There are some WTF moments, although no worse than in a James Bond tale.

    The ending is muddled, with loose strings galore.  It is only passable if there’s a sequel to tie things up, and ANAICT, the author isn’t working on one.

    “I just don’t like the man,” Erhart said.  “He’s a sadistic killer, a psychotic, a maniac…”
    “Nonsense.  There is no reason to distrust him.  He’s not psychotic.  He’s simply a man with a passionate dream.  It just happens he believes violence is the key to realizing his dream.”  (loc. 178)

    Certain noise belonged to the natural environment of every home – a dripping tap, the whisper of air conditioning, the crack of a settling foundation.  But other sounds belonged to the enemy – a click of a shoe, controlled breathing, the cocking of a gun.  These sounds would betray a waiting attack.  The difficulty, as every frightened child knows, lay in distinguishing between the two types of noises.  (loc. 2624)

Kindle Details...
    The Schliemann Legacy sells for $2.99 at Amazon.  D.A. Graystone has one other book available for the Kindle, Two Graves: A Kesle City Homicide Novel , but it I don’t think it’s related to this one.

“Without law, we become our enemy.”  (loc. 2678)
    As a story, The Schliemann Legacy is okay – the technical weaknesses being balanced out by the constant action.   Unfortunately, the author seems to have an agenda, and that agenda is to promote Zionism.

    I’m cool with recounting the Nazi atrocities; that part of history cannot be told often enough.  But D.A. Graystone doesn’t stop there.  The British are evil because they were administering Palestine right after WW2.  All Palestinian Arabs are bad, too.  And all Turks.  And Frenchmen, except they are  also fat.  And Israeli “doves”.  And Communists, but he couldn’t squeeze them anywhere into the plotline, so he disses them in Katrina’s backstory.  Only Israeli hardliners are good. 

    This would have been a better book without the political preaching.  5½ Stars.  Add one more star if you happen to be a Zionist, and think that Daniel Silva is one heckuva storyteller.

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