The Scroll

Donald Nassr, Author
Donald Nassr, Author Icam Publishing Company $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-9642463-2-4
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-9642463-3-1
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Dedicated to ""the readers of my first novel, In the Shadow of the Cross, who enthusiastically asked for this, a sequel,"" Nassr's second novel is a third-rate imitation of the sort of grand conspiracy thrillers made popular by Robert Ludlum and David Morrell. Long passages of quasi-history and plodding exposition alternate with cartoon-like action sequences as the gorgeous Juda Bonaparte, ""recent graduate, former assassin,"" returns from In the Shadow of the Cross to get involved with the discovery and theft of a copper scroll that promises to shake the world with new revelations about the body of Jesus Christ. Juda, the daughter of a Jewish general and an Austrian countess, attracts the attention of George Gamash, ""London's leading cardiovascular surgeon,"" who moonlights as a terrorist. When a fellow terrorist vows that Juda will ""die naked in my arms, screaming in ecstasy,"" Gamash responds, ""You forget, Rama, I saw her first... Juda Bonaparte is much too beautiful to die. I will make her mine."" Soon enough, underground remnants of the Knights Templar and agents of a group called the Federation of the New World Order are wrestling with Juda and each other for the missing scroll. The derring-do is fast and furious but far-fetched and as hokey as the dialogue. Juda has some appeal as a female action heroine, however, and those who ""asked"" for this sequel will be pleased to learn that she will return in yet another novel, The Shroud. (Sept.)
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