cover image Maze Master

Maze Master

Kathleen O’Neal Gear. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-12199-8

University of Virginia archeology professor Martin Nadai, the hero of this uninspired Da Vinci Code knockoff from bestseller Gear (The Betrayal: The Lost Life of Jesus, with W. Michael Gear), is the world’s leading expert on the Marham-i- Isa, “the legendary healing ointment created by Jesus to heal the sick and raise the dead.” Anna Asher, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, claims that the ointment is not only real but can be found in a cave in Egypt’s Black Canyon. A terrifying new retrovirus has cropped up in France, and she needs Martin’s help in determining its exact location to save humanity. Martin agrees to assist, but he remains skeptical about the source of her certainty that Marham-i-Isa is real—a discredited scientist, James Hakari, who believes that God has spoken to humanity through the genetic code. Predictably, Martin finds himself attracted to Anna, and their lives are imperiled by their search. Gear is no Michael Crichton when it comes to presenting her scientific speculations, making suspension of disbelief a challenge. Agent: Matt Bialer, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (July)