Book Review: The Eighth Scroll by Dr Laurence B Brown

In the Eighth Scroll by Dr Laurence B Brown, the final text of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been found. Scholars have correctly believed this final text would either confirm or condemn established religious beliefs and practices. As a result, world powers will fight to possess it, or kill to suppress it.
World-renowned theologian Michael Hansen has lost everything because of the scroll, including his archaeologist father and the woman he loved. When he becomes the only living person with a clue to the scrolls location, he sets out to find it, travelling from the United States, to England, to the Middle East. Along the way, he finds himself running from the Mossad, the CIA, and the Vatican's weapon of last resort, the Italian Mafia. When he finally finds the scroll, it turns out to be everything the State of Israel and Vatican had feared. If exposed, it would cause major religious upheaval. But expose it Michael must, for his only option is to ransom his life by giving the scroll to his enemies. Unless he can somehow do both before his pursuers find him...and kill him.
The Eighth Scroll was brought to my attention by Jeff Rivera from Gatekeeper's Post. He offered me the opportunity to review it and when he said it was similar to The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, I jumped at the chance.
We meet Michael Hansen when he is just  teenager travelling with his archaeologist father, Gerald. Gerald is called by his colleague Frank Tones who asks him to come out to his dig urgently as he has found something of momentous significance. However, Frank is found dead before he can share his find with Gerald. It is left to Gerald and Michael to put together the clues left by Frank in order to finish his work. Father and son begin to suspect that Frank may have discovered the whereabouts of the long lost Dead Sea Scroll which is thought to be the Gospel of James or attributed to Jesus himself. They know what power a find like this would possess, several religious groups would do anything to stop it getting out, even if that means killing those that get in the way.
The Eighth Scroll is set over a long period of time, Michael is an adult now and a respected theologian. His father had died of suspected heart attack and Michael has managed to keep continue the lie that he knows nothing about the scroll. This all changes when Frank's daughter Rachael turns up. She is  now convinced that her father was killed and she is seeking justice. Michael knows that he cannot keep his secret forever and sets out to find the ancient text. The question is what will he do once he has it, how will he get out of this alive?
Dr Laurence B Brown has written a great book. I can understand the comparisons with The Da Vinci Code but for me, The Eighth Scroll was slightly more realistic as we know that there is a large possibility that a text like this does indeed exist and would have devastating affects.
It did take me a little bit of time to really get into this book but I was grateful for this towards the end as I realised how much time the author had spent exploring and developing Michael's character. The book picks up a really momentous pace though and my interest was constantly peaked, especially due to it being set in several different locations and cultures.
If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller with some extremely well researched theory behind it then look no further than The Eighth Scroll by Dr Laurence B Brown.

If you would like to find out more about Gatekeeper's Post then simply click here and if you are interested in the author and the book then have a look here.

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