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The Genesis Secret    by Tom Knox order for
Genesis Secret
by Tom Knox
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

The main character of the recommended The Genesis Secret, the intricate new suspense thriller from British journalist Tom Knox (a.k.a. Sean Thomas), is Rob Luttrell, a London-based journalist with an American background. Luttrell would describe himself as 'firmly atheist' (which is, I would argue, a self-declaration that implicitly suggests a person who is not really quite sure about matters of faith). As Luttrell would tell you, he 'found religious belief and superstitious irrationality hard to accept and sometimes deeply annoying; yet he loved the Middle East, birthplace of all those irrational faiths and desert creeds. And he rather liked the passions and debates stirred by these faiths. A strange paradox,' he would admit.

Well, having presented his protagonist with this philosophical balancing act, the author of The Genesis Secret wastes no time in throwing Luttrell into a really high-powered test of his perspectives and his survival. After completing an assignment and resting in Tel Aviv, Luttrell is sent by his editor to Gobekli Tepe, a 12,000 year old site in Turkey where it is rumored that a German archeologist has discovered what he believes is the actual location of the Biblical Garden of Eden.

Luttrell first encounters strange attitudes and behaviors at the archeological site, including resentment by workers, unusual nocturnal explorations, and problems with local community leaders. Then a key participant in the excavations is found dead - impaled on a steel spike - and questions arise about what really happened: Was it an accident? Had the man been pushed? Why do the local police seem less than interested in the incident? Who else is at risk?

Meanwhile - you may have noticed that there is always a meanwhile aspect to good suspense thrillers - the police in London are stumbling around with their own problems but not many clues: a series of murders in which the bodies have been grotesquely mutilated. But - and, of course, you may have noticed that there is also always a but involved in these kinds of novels - what the police are about to learn (eventually) is that the murders are somehow connected to someone's perverse quest to find a long hidden book in which ancient secrets might be revealed. And, more significantly, as Luttrell and his new romantic interest at Gobekli Tepe will discover, the grisly homicides in England, the death at the archeological dig-site, and the escalating tensions, problems, and dangers at Gobekli Tepe are all interconnected.

So, what is the rest of the story, and what is the secret of The Genesis Secret? To reveal anything further would spoil the considerable surprises and pleasures available to the reader of Tom Knox's compelling new thriller.

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