The Blood of Alexander by Tom Wilde

A modern Indiana Jones steals a relic of Alexander the Great in Blood of Alexander, the thrilling 17910089debut from Tom Wilde.

Jonathan Blake makes a living stealing antiquities—stealing them back, that is. A field agent for the Argo Foundation, a company that makes it their business to preserve humanity’s history by liberating stolen artifacts from thieves and looters, Blake is used to dangerous assignments. But when he is forced by the US government into a deadly mission involving a missing Napoleonic standard, he finds himself in over his head. Blake is pitted against Vanya, the head of a fanatical cult, who seeks a gilded bronze eagle that holds a vital clue to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great.

From ancient ruins in Afghanistan to the catacombs of Paris to a chateau high in the French Alps, Blake must unravel the secret truth of the final fate of Napoleon Bonaparte, the murder of Percy Bysshe Shelly, and the hidden remains of Alexander. And he must do it before Vanya’s apocalyptic plans for humanity come to their deadly fruition.

The description of this book grabbed me immediately – I loved the Indiana Jones movies (except the last one, I mean, really, aliens?) it also reminded me a little of The DaVinci Code.  Overall, this was an enjoyable debut novel.

Jonathan Blake was very likeable.  He came from a pretty rough place and was given an amazing opportunity to reinvent himself.  Some of his actions may not be exactly legal, but I guess you can justify that by saying it’s for a good cause, although I did question why his skill set and training seemed to exceed James Bond’s.  It seemed a little extreme for his line of work, but it was fun to read.

Caitlin was an interesting character, but I was a little disappointed that she turned into the ‘damsel in distress’ and she and Jonathan seemed to develop a relationship pretty suddenly.  It was also frustrating that all the female characters were described as beautiful and “blessed with subtle perfection” .  Just a tad unrealistic, but maybe male readers could better appreciate this.

The ending lead me to believe this may become a series and I would be interested in reading more of Jonathan Blake.  The pacing was great, the action sequences were the right length and frequency, and there were several twists along the way.  If you enjoy thrillers with action and some history thrown in, this is your book.  The Blood of Alexander is scheduled for publication April 29, 2014.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

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