The Deadly Scrolls
by Ellen Frankel
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Pub Date 10 May 2022 | Archive Date 10 Jun 2022
Post Hill Press, Wicked Son
An American professor’s murder reveals his discovery of a lost Dead Sea Scroll, whose text encodes the secret hiding places of the lost Second Temple Treasures. Israeli intelligence agent Maya Rimon races against time to stop a religious extremist from launching a deadly terrorist attack at the next Blood Moon, triggering the Apocalypse in the holy city of Jerusalem.
The story centers around a genuine historical artifact, the so-called Copper Scroll, whose many secrets still remain undeciphered by contemporary scholars and treasure hunters. Despite decades of searching, not a single one of these invaluable treasures has ever been found.
Laced with clever spycraft, encrypted electronic files, mysterious ancient puzzles, plastique explosives, car chases, and Sherlockian ratiocination, The Deadly Scrolls explores the timely theme of fanaticism: among Christian millennialists, Jewish messianists, Islamic terrorists, Israeli politicians, Orthodox Jews, conspiracy theorists, devout Zionists—and spies. In other words, it’s a Jewish Da Vinci Code!
“In this thriller, Ellen Frankel has created a fine cast of Jerusalem types––corrupt antiquities hawkers, end-of-days preachers, scholars of the obscure past, and lost innocents abroad––but the true star is her detective, daring intelligence agent and conflicted single mom Maya Rimon. You won't stop turning the page.”
—Gershom Gorenberg, author of War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East
"An exciting thriller from which one can learn a tremendous amount about the world of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the academic community that researches them.”
––Lawrence Schiffman: Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University and author of Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
This book combines the results of serious research with an intriguing storyline, and the result is a mystery that is unique and has depth. Frankel tells a story of intrigue and conspiracy that is both contemporary and ancient. When a professor is murdered at a Dead Sea Scrolls scholarly conference in Israel, Maya (a special services agent) is on the trail of the perpetrator. As she learns more about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the nearby Qumran community, the reader is also gaining knowledge. Maya engages religious extremism in both Christianity and Judaism, with the former being the key to the case. Fundamentalist Christians who believe the end of the world is near are suspected of doing what they can to hasten the Apocalypse. The complications of Palestinian and Israeli politics add an extra layer to Maya's search for answers. As a biblical scholar, the book was still a deep read for me. I would suggest would-be readers read Frankel's "Glossary" and "Postscript" before engaging the book.