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The Lucifer Code by Charles Brokaw
Review by Mel Jacob
Forge Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765320933
Date: 31 August 2010 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Charles Brokaw's The Lucifer Code follows his earlier Thomas Lourds' adventure, The Atlantis Code. An attractive young woman accosts Lourds, a professor of linguistics from Harvard University, at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. When he attempts to take the limo sent to meet him, she strong arms him and hustles him into a waiting car. In the process, she also kills two men who try to stop her. Leaving mayhem in their wake, the woman and Lourds are whisked away in another car. Pursuit ensues with plenty of bullets and a death or two along their route.

Conspiracies abound. At least three separate groups want Lourds' skill to locate and decipher a document created by John Patmos, author of the Book of Revelations. One group wants it to avert the end of the world, another to cause it, and the motivation of the third never becomes entirely clear. Villains include CIA and other clandestine operatives controlled by the Vice-President of the U.S., a group of Muslims, and a Christian order called the Brotherhood of the Scroll. While the first two want the scroll, they are also willing to use any means to obtain it and to murder Lourds along the way. The Brotherhood wants to protect the scroll and keep it from the hands of the others.

On top of all the threats, Lourds also has woman trouble. He finds women attractive and likes to indulge in flings with willing females. An old colleague and lover, has invited him to Istanbul to lecture to her students. They manage to rekindle the flame after Lourds escapes his Muslim captors and the grilling of the Istanbul police.

Lourds remains determined to decipher the code used in a mysterious book that describes a scroll to either prevent or cause the end of the world. The chase continues with Lourds and the Brotherhood staying one step ahead of those determined to steal the scroll or kill them. Brokaw never lets up on the action. At times Lourds' blind good luck and narrow escapes stretch creditability.

Brokaw manages to inject plenty of sex between Lourds and the women he knows. The rushed climax may leave some readers unsatisfied. When creating an all-knowing manipulator who fails to foresee the possible outcomes, Brokaw makes it hard to accept the hasty resolution. The magnitude of the conspiracy and the religious overtones echo other recent thrillers. More adventures of Thomas Lourds are sure to follow.

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