cover image The Illumination

The Illumination

Karen Tintori, Jill Gregory, . . St. Martin?s, $24.95 (309pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37597-3

Gregory and Tintori follow their first thriller, The Book of Names (2007), with another average Da Vinci Code knockoff. In the near future, MSNBC reporter Dana Landau is murdered in Iraq after the chance purchase of the Eye of Dawn, an amulet believed to have supernatural powers. Fortunately, Landau managed to send off the talisman to her sister, a curator at a New York City museum devoted to the ancient Near East, before the bad guys who want to use it for evil tracked her down. The U.S. government also seeks the Eye of Dawn in hopes of harnessing its potential to solve the energy crisis. Muslim extremists scheming to destroy the Temple Mount in Jerusalem complicate a plot full of overly familiar action sequences and chase scenes. Still, the authors deserve credit for one original element—an underdeveloped attempt to link J.R.R. Tolkien’s saga of magical jewels, The Silmarillion , with the Old Testament. (Jan.)