Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Tom Jackson's "The Devil's Legacy"

Kindle File Size: 501 KB
Print Length: 344 pages
Publisher: Tom Jackson at Smashwords; 1 edition (October 27, 2011)
Review Copy Courtesy Of: Tom Jackson, author (in exchange for an honest review).

Synopsis Via Goodreads:

The opening of Pandora’s Box creates pandemonium in the office of the British Prime Minister. A team is assembled to solve a two hundred year old conspiracy in order to prevent the Box’s incredible secrets from being revealed to the world and plunging British society into chaos. Will the search for truth be successful? And will it result in the restoration of a country’s stolen heritage?
What is the bizarre umbilical cord that links the 200-year old theft of the Parthenon Marbles to the Turkish Governor of Athens, Jack the Ripper, Winston Churchill, the Titanic, Napoleon Bonaparte, the British Royal family, an obscure nineteenth century Italian artist and a Koala bear?

The British government’s decision to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece triggers the opening of Pandora’s Box, covertly held for over 100 years in the vaults of the British Museum. And thus the first appalling secret is revealed--the Parthenon Marbles are counterfeit.

A team comprising archaeological experts and secret service agents is assembled under the leadership of a young female lawyer and Parthenon expert. The team’s mission is to find the real Marbles, and ensure their return to Greece within a six-month deadline.

Success must be achieved against an intensifying background of treason, competition from an American billionaire collector, and the intervention of the Greek mafia.

Failure would threaten the very fabric of British society.

The clock is ticking!

Saph's Review:

Per the author: ‘The Devil’s Legacy’ is an up-market adventure/mystery set in the present day with flashbacks to the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The British Museum has been ordered by their government to return the ancient Parthenon Marbles back to their rightful owner--the country of Greece.  All hell breaks loose, however, when it is discovered that the items the museum have been holding are indeed counterfeit.    Now it's up to a group of archaeologists and others to find out what happened to the original artifacts and find them.  The alternative is for the British government to fess up and admit that  Will they succeed or will the Americans, Greek mafia, or traitorous members of the group mess up any chance they have at bringing the real Marbles back to Greece, where they belong?

This book is a conspiracy theorist's dream.  The author does a magnificent job of tying the disappearance of the Parthenon Marbles to various people and events in history (as noted above, these include the Turkish Governor of Athens, Jack the Ripper, Winston Churchill, the Titanic, Napoleon Bonaparte, the British Royal family, an obscure nineteenth century Italian artist and a Koala bear).
Mr. Jackson does well in threading the modern day search for the Parthenon Marbles with the historical back story.  The time frames are clearly labeled each time there is a shift, keeping everything flowing as consistently as possible.  This is the type of mystery that certainly keeps you on your toes.  Just when you think you've figured out what's going on, there's a twist in the plot that blindsides you and totally changes up what you thought.  Each character is developed very well and the roles they play are believable.  

The ability of the author to take 200 years of history from within various countries and weave a web of deceit, all while making all of the events dependent on one another, is amazing.  Historical fiction buffs will love this novel.  


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